According to the provided information, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and President Joe Biden have reached a conditional agreement to raise the national government’s debt limit, ending a months-long impasse. The details of the agreement are not explicitly mentioned in the text, but McCarthy outlined some next steps, including posting the text of the bill on Sunday and voting on it by Wednesday.
President Biden referred to the agreement as a “significant forward-moving step” and a “split the difference” compromise that decreases spending while preserving important programs and supporting the economy. He emphasized the need for the agreement to pass both chambers of Congress and reach his desk by June 5 to prevent a potential default.
The two-year budget deal is said to include an increase in the debt limit and maintain non-defense spending at current levels in fiscal year 2024, with a 1% increase in 2025. The agreement also introduces new work requirements for SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) beneficiaries, excluding certain groups, and extends funding for veterans’ healthcare. It does not reportedly include changes to Medicaid requirements.
The urgency to pass the agreement stems from the approaching deadline of June 5, which Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned could lead to a financial crisis if the U.S. fails to meet its financial obligations on time.
The agreement still needs to pass the House and the Senate, with potential challenges and resistance from both conservative and liberal lawmakers. Failure to reach an agreement and raise the debt limit could have severe economic consequences, including job losses, increased unemployment, and delayed or unpaid benefits such as Social Security and Medicaid payments.
The uncertainty surrounding the debt limit negotiations has caused concern among Americans who rely on these benefits, as they worry about their ability to pay for essential expenses such as rent and food.