House Passes Debt Ceiling Plan, Puts Biden and Democrats on the Hot Seat

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AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

The Republican-controlled House of Representatives passed a plan to raise the debt ceiling and avoid a possible default on Wednesday. That happened despite numerous different factions within the GOP fighting over what should be in the bill.

Speaker Kevin McCarthy, to his credit, rose to the occasion and managed to put together a package that garnered the votes needed.

Some of the provisions include very reasonable work requirements for Medicaid, halting of federal spending at 2022 levels, and a repeal of the money used to boost the IRS workforce. Green energy tax credits passed by the Inflation Reduction Act are also cut in the bill. Deficits would be cut by a sizable $4.8 trillion over the next 10 years.

Republicans have a structural advantage in this fight if they play their cards right. Legislation originates in the House, and now that the GOP has put something on the table, it means Democrats will have to go on record voting against it. If it were to reach Biden’s desk, he’d also have to go on record to veto it, ushering in a default that would otherwise be avoided.

For its part, the White House has continued to lie about the situation, claiming that any negotiation at all is welcoming a default. In reality, it would be Biden and the Democrats pressing the red button if they refuse to pass a compromise bill to raise the debt ceiling. Republicans should go to the mat here. They did their part by putting something tangible out there, and they can simply point at their bill when Democrats refuse to play ball. As long as the GOP House members stand strong, they will succeed in making Democrats own a possible default while hanging the consequences around Biden’s neck.

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