Biden Vows to Veto the GOP Bill to Raise the Debt Ceiling

  • The White House said Biden will veto the GOP bill to raise the debt ceiling if it makes it to his desk.
  • Kevin McCarthy is planning to bring the bill to a House floor vote on Wednesday.
  • It’s unclear if enough Republicans will sign on to support its passage through the House.

President Joe Biden officially confirmed that he will not sign Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy’s bill to raise the debt ceiling.

McCarthy is planning to hold a vote in the House on Wednesday on his bill to raise the debt ceiling, called the Limit, Save, Grow Act of 2023, which would raise the debt ceiling by $1.5 trillion, or until March 31, 2024, whichever comes first. The legislation included 320 pages of spending cuts, like banning student-loan forgiveness and bolstering work requirements on welfare programs like SNAP, intended to bring in $4.5 trillion in savings over the next decade. 

Biden has repeatedly said that he will not negotiate terms to raise the debt ceiling and he would only support a bipartisan and clean increase, without any spending cuts attached. On Tuesday, the White House made the president’s position on McCarthy’s current proposal clear, with the Office of Management and Budget writing in a statement: “If the President were presented with the Limit, Save, Grow Act of 2023, he would veto it.”

“Altogether, this legislation would not only risk default, recession, widespread job loss, and years of higher interest rates, but also make devastating cuts to programs that hard-working Americans and the middle-class count on,” the statement said. “The bill would make it easier for wealthy tax cheats to avoid the taxes they owe, even as House Republicans are advancing other proposals that would spend trillions more on tax cuts skewed to the wealthy and big corporations, undoing much or all of the deficit reduction in this legislation.”

The statement cited a recent analysis from Moody’s Analytics economists Mark Zandi and Bernard Yaros that said Americans could lose 780,000 jobs by the end of 2024 if the GOP bill is passed, and adding to the potential economic downturn is “the considerable uncertainty created by having to address the debt limit again a year from now. Given that 2024 is a presidential election year, that future debt limit drama may well be even more heated than the current one. This is sure to weigh on investor, business and consumer confidence and thus economic activity,” Zandi and Yaros wrote.

While it’s been clear that Biden and Democrats oppose McCarthy’s bill, it’s unclear if some members of his own party will sign on. Some GOP senators expressed uncertainty with having to once again address the debt ceiling as soon as next year, and other House Republicans wanted to see other provisions included in the legislation, like even stronger work requirements for welfare programs. 

With Republicans urging Democrats to negotiate raising the debt ceiling while Biden has refused, the country continues to inch closer to an economically catastrophic default, which could happen early this summer.

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