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House Speaker Kevin McCarthy shook on it and now must deliver

The deal to end the debt limit crisis, hammered out by President Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, is called the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023. We will see today and tomorrow if the members of McCarthy’s Republican conference have their own fiscal responsibility to act positively on the bill or push the government toward the catastrophe of default.

This afternoon, the legislation goes before the Rules Committee and if it survives, the full House floor tomorrow. There are 218 votes needed for passage and of the GOP’s 222 votes, McCarthy has already lost a half dozen and that doesn’t include three others who rebelled on April 26, when McCarthy acceded to the radicals and pushed through a drastic slashing of government spending in exchange for a $1.5 trillion boost of the federal borrowing limit.

None of the damage in that unacceptable bill has been agreed to by Biden, as the compromise will suspend the debt ceiling until January 2025, after the next presidential election. In exchange, $30 billion in unspent COVID aid will be returned to the Treasury as nondefense discretionary dollars will be flat in 2024 and limited to 1% growth in 2025.

Childless adults up to age 54 on food stamps will have work, up from the current age of 49. That is fair and not in any way onerous. And we like that, finally, proposed energy projects will be approved faster by establishing a new bureaucracy that will make sure that all the reviews are finished in a timely fashion.

While the bill permanently ends Biden’s moratorium on student loan repayments this summer, it was a COVID-era moratorium and needs to sunset as other COVID measures are. As for Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan, the Supreme Court is now reviewing that.

So there’s nothing here that Democrats should object to, as their votes will be needed to win House passage. But still some on the left preach withholding their votes, so that McCarthy loses. That tactical political win would be an enormous loss for the country and the world.

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