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McCarthy meets opposition from conservative Republicans on debt limit deal

The deal is opposed by both conservative Republicans and progressive Democrats.

Published: May 28, 2023 10:01am

Updated: May 28, 2023 1:01pm

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) is facing intense opposition from conservative members of his own party over the tentative debt limit deal he reached with President Joe Biden.

Many congressional Republicans from the conservative Freedom Caucus have said they are against McCarthy's tentative deal he reached Saturday with Biden. A source close to House Republican leadership told Axios on Sunday that 60 conservative Republicans may not vote for the deal, which means McCarthy would need nearly that many Democrats to vote for the bill in the House, which has 222 Republicans and 213 Democrats.

A summary of the deal obtained by Just the News shows that it would roll back some spending while blocking new taxes, requiring student loan borrowers to start repaying their debts and imposing work requirements for some welfare and food stamp recipients.  

Rep. Chip Roy, a Texas Republican and Freedom Caucus member, voiced opposition to the deal and compared the "Limit, Save, Grow" bill, which the House passed to raise the debt limit by $1.5 trillion while cutting spending, to the proposed deal that McCarthy reached.

The speaker said his debt limit deal would raise the ceiling by $1.5 trillion until after the 2024 presidential election, but the Freedom Caucus says it still raises the debt limit by $4 trillion and cuts far less in spending than the House-approved bill.

"Conservatives making these half-baked compromises year after year is exactly why we’re $31 TRILLION DOLLARS in debt right now. Eventually it has to end!" Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) tweeted Sunday morning.

Other House Republicans who have publicly stood against McCarthy's debt deal with Biden include Reps. Dan Bishop (N.C.), Bob Good (Va.), Andy Biggs (Ariz.), Andrew Clyde (Ga.), Ralph Norman (S.C.), Ben Cline (Va.), Andy Ogles (Tenn.) and Ken Buck (Colo.).

Even some Republican senators, such as Sen. Mike Lee (Utah), criticized the tentative deal.

With McCarthy likely to need at least some Democratic votes to pass the debt limit deal, it is receiving opposition from the House Progressive Caucus, which tweeted Saturday: "House Republicans don't actually care about the deficit. ... It's all about keeping the cash flowing to the wealthy and big corporations — and sticking working people with the bill."

Some political groups are urging Congress to pass the deal McCarthy reached with Biden. 

"Perfection should not be the enemy of the good. Neither side got everything they wanted, which is exactly what compromise sounds like to me, and what the American people demand," said Alfredo Ortiz, the president and CEO of the Job Creators Network, a small business advocacy group. 

"Defaulting on our debt is not an option. Historic and persistent inflation has done tremendous damage to our small businesses with tightened access to credit at regional banks," he also said. 

Madeleine Hubbard is an international correspondent for Just the News. Follow her on Twitter or Instagram.

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