Tuesday, 30 May 2023

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Debt Ceiling during Crunch Week

With no agreement and no bill, the United States is on the verge of exceeding its debt ceiling. The target date of June 1 has been reaffirmed by Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.

Although President Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy are working to close the gap, it might not be ready for Thursday. The legislation might not even make it to the Senate until May 29 or May 31. To get the votes needed to pass such a package, the maths is important.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide

The two most crucial facts in this passage are that House Republicans have long expressed a desire for a “majority of the majority” to support any potential legislation and that House Democrats have started making “HAIL MARY” attempts to go around Speaker McCarthy and raise the debt ceiling.

Additionally, liberal lawmakers are pressuring President Biden to just invoke the “14th Amendment” and stop the discussion, and they claim that the House’s debt ceiling plan may complicate the negotiations.

  • The US is on the verge of exceeding its debt ceiling, and the maths is important to pass a bill.
  • House Republicans and Democrats are seeking a majority of the majority to pass legislation.
  • McCarthy’s success was limited by the vote tally.

Until the House passed its debt ceiling plan, which had zero Democratic votes and no chance of surviving a filibuster in the Senate, President Biden withdrew from participating in negotiations.

The measure’s passage was McCarthy’s biggest success, but it also had the potential to confine McCarthy, who prefers to take a more “big picture” and detached approach. The bill’s fundamental component is the vote tally.

How many Republicans are committed to the package and how many are willing to accept something less will decide how the debt ceiling fight plays out. The House of Representatives is in session this week but is set to take a break the following week, so timing is crucial.

Keeping everyone in Washington, DC, might make it easier for leaders to count votes, but if certain Republicans object, it might cause rebellion.

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