McCarthy’s next challenge: sell debt ceiling deal in Congress

Reuters | May 28, 2023

After tough negotiations to reach a tentative deal with the White House on the U.S. borrowing limit, the next challenge for House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is pushing it through the House, where it may be opposed by both hardline Republicans and progressive Democrats.

As Democratic and Republican negotiators iron out the final details of an agreement to suspend the federal government’s $31.4 trillion debt ceiling in coming days, McCarthy may be forced to do some behind-the-scenes wrangling.

A failure by Congress to deal with its self-imposed debt ceiling before June 5 could trigger a default that would shake financial markets and send the United States into a deep recession.

Republicans control the House by 222-213, while Democrats control the Senate by 51-49. These margins mean that moderates from both sides will have to support the bill, as any compromise will almost definitely lose the support of the far left and far right wings of each party.

To win the speaker’s gavel, McCarthy agreed to enable any single member to call for a vote to unseat him, which could lead to his ouster if he seeks to work with Democrats.

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