The House on Wednesday night voted to advance a bill that would raise the nation’s debt ceiling and pause some government spending over the next two years, marking a big win for the White House and Republican leadership.
The bill passed on a 314-117 vote with McCarthy earning the support of the GOP conference but it was the Democrats who ensured the legislation passed as 71 Republicans voted against it but 135 Democrats voted in favor of it. The bill will now head to the Senate, where both Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell want it to move quickly and head to President Joe Biden’s desk.
If signed into law, the bill would raise the country’s $31.4 trillion borrowing limit until January 2025 while making some key changes to programs, such as increasing work requirements on federal food assistance.
Speaking with reporters after the vote, McCarthy highlighted the cuts and said Democrats showing support for this gives him hope for more bipartisan support in the future.
“I knew the debt ceiling was coming. I wanted to make history. I wanted to do something no other Congress has done, that we would literally turn the ship, that for the first time in quite some time, we’d spend less than we spent the year before,” he said. “Tonight, we all make history.”
“Is it everything I wanted? No,” McCarthy added, “I think we did pretty dang good for the American public.”
Biden watched the vote with his staff in Colorado, where he will speak to the U.S. Air Force Academy graduates on Thursday. In a statement, the President thanked McCarthy “and his team for negotiating in good faith.”
“This budget agreement is a bipartisan compromise. Neither side got everything it wanted. That’s the responsibility of governing,” he said. “I urge the Senate to pass it as quickly as possible so that I can sign it into law, and our country can continue building the strongest economy in the world.”