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Debt ceiling deal will be ‘transformational’ for Americans, McCarthy says

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U.S. President Joe Biden hosts debt limit talks with U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S., May 22, 2023. REUTERS/Leah Millis

Leah Millis | Reuters

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said Sunday that the tentative deal House Republicans have reached with the White House to address the nation’s debt ceiling will be “transformational” for the American public.

McCarthy told reporters that negotiators worked through the night to finalize details of the agreement, and that they have tried to keep the bill around 150 pages to make it easier for members of Congress and the public to digest. President Joe Biden and McCarthy are scheduled to speak at 2 p.m. ET Sunday to ensure both sides agree on the bill’s language, McCarthy said.

“We know at any time when you sit and negotiate within two parties that you got to work with both sides of the aisle,” McCarthy said. “So it’s not 100% for what everybody wants, but when you look, the country is going to be stronger.”

Once the deal is finalized, it needs to pass through Congress and receive Biden’s signature in order to avoid a catastrophic default on U.S. sovereign debt. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned that failing to raise the debt ceiling by early June could result in “economic chaos.”

McCarthy said Sunday that he thinks Republicans will support the bill, and assuming Biden grants his approval, he expects Democrats will be supportive as well. McCarthy also praised Biden and his staff for how they conducted themselves during the tense negotiations.

“I thought his team was very professional, very smart, very tough at the same time,” he said.

Some House Republicans, like Rep. Chip Roy of Texas, have been vocal critics of the deal on social media. Roy wrote in a tweet Sunday that he is “going to try” to stop the bill from passing in the House.

McCarthy on Sunday encouraged members of Congress to read the bill when it’s released before taking a stance.

“Let’s let the members actually read the bill before they make a decision to go forward,” he said.


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