WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressional lawmakers said they read the bipartisan debt ceiling bill that will be voted on Wednesday night after a deal was reached between House Speaker Kevin McCarty and President Biden.
‘It’s 99 pages,’ said Rep. Adam Smith, a Washington Democrat. ‘Believe me, there are other bills that you can’t read every single word, but this is pretty straight forward.’
‘We can’t default on the debt,’ said Smith, who plans to vote for the deal. ‘This is a pretty good budget deal.’
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The bill, the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023, cuts billions from the IRS expansion fund, claws back some unused COVID-19 pandemic funds, cuts non-defense spending close to the 2022 fiscal levels and suspends the debt limit with no cap until 2025.
‘I’ve read the bill several times,’ said Rep. Marc Molinaro, a New York Republican who supports the bill. ‘I’m very grateful to have some language in it.’
Rep. Chris Stewart of Utah said he found it ‘actually readable.’
‘Ninety-nine pages, or something, right?’ he said while making a hand sign showing the bill is small.
Rep. Ed Case, a Hawaii Democrat, said he had read the bill. But when asked about the new limit, he asked, ‘what is this, a test?’
‘The new level is a little bit above current levels overall, so that’s about where we are,’ he added.
Rep. Glenn Grothman said he ‘read a lot of the bill,’ while Rep. Lawrence Fitzgerald, a fellow Wisconsin Republican, told Fox News he read it.
‘I think it’s a classic compromise,’ he said. ‘Both sides got what they needed. I was always in the camp that said from the beginning that it had to be something that changed the trajectory of spending, and I think it does that.’
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who also said she read the bill, called it ‘not perfect’ but plans to vote in favor.
‘We made sure that Republicans weren’t going to pass draconian budget cuts,’ she said.
Rep. Jared Moskowitz similarly said he supports the debt bill.
‘I’m voting against the default of the United States,’ he said. ‘Voting for the bill is voting against default.’
‘The fact that the left and the right both hate it tells me that it’s probably a pretty good bill,’ Moskowitz added.
Mike Flood said he also plans to vote for the bill.
‘We’re going to look back at this in five years and say ‘we did that with just one half of one third of the government,’’ the Nebraska Republican said. ‘I mean that’s amazing.’
Several outspoken conservative Republicans, meanwhile, oppose the debt bill, arguing that it’s not aggressive enough in reducing spending.
‘I’m voting against this,’ said Rep. Lauren Boebert. ‘I’m not for four trillion dollars in debt, probably six.’
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene plans to vote for the legislation, saying it represents a loss for Biden.
‘Joe Biden is losing because his poll numbers are so, so bad,’ she said. ‘He had to cave.’
Rep. Byron Donalds of Florida said he is also against the bill.
‘I think for $12 billion in cuts to raise our national debt $4 trillion is not good enough, it’s not economically viable,’ he said, adding that the Democrats get to ‘keep a lot of what they want.’
‘The most interesting thing to me was that yesterday [Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez] was tweeting about the parody account of her on Twitter and not this deal,’ he said. ‘So that tells me what I need to know.’
Ramiro Vargas contributed to the accompanying video.