Washington D.C. – President Biden rallied behind House Democrats on Friday as the debt ceiling vote loomed large over the Capitol. The President met with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democratic leaders to shore up support for the measure, which will allow the government to continue borrowing to pay its bills. Meanwhile, Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy was scrambling to secure support from his party, some of whom have voiced opposition to the deal.
The tense negotiations come after a harrowing few weeks for the government, with a potential default on the horizon if the debt limit is not raised. Conservatives have seized the moment, using the standoff as a platform to cut spending and shrink the size of government. In a minor win for the right, they secured a victory in the form of cuts to the IRS in the final bill.
However, many Democrats say this is no time for austerity measures, pointing to the pandemic and other pressing needs that require government intervention. In an op-ed in the New York Times, one writer called on Congress to “Pass the Debt Ceiling Deal” and avoid the “catastrophic consequences” of gridlock.
While both sides agree on the need to raise the limit, the devil is in the details, with debates raging over how much additional spending will be allowed and how to offset any new costs. The vote is expected to be close, with both parties working feverishly to rally support ahead of the final tally.