House Passes GOP’s Spending Cuts Package, Sends Bill To Democrat-Led Senate

 April 27, 2023

On Wednesday, House Republicans passed a bill package, 217 to 215, raising the debt limit through early next year while significantly, reducing government spending. This effectively set up a standoff with Democrats as the bill heads to the Senate. Called the Limit, Save, Grow Act of 2023, the legislation passed without Democrat support, however, Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Tim Burchett (R-KY), Andy Biggs (R-AZ), and Ken Buck (R-CO) defected for individual state concerns.

Touting the bill as a negotiating tool, that forces President Joe Biden and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) into talks with him on spending cuts, in exchange for a debt limit increase, the passage is a victory for House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA). He said-

“We cannot sit back and ignore the problem like the president has,” “We want to sit down. We want to work together, and that’s exactly what this bill does, to put us in an ability to negotiate.”

-House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA)

This legislation, as passed, represents a response to the U.S. debt ceiling, which is fast approaching, possibly as early as this summer. Warning of impending “economic catastrophe”, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has raised concerns, that if Congress and Biden do not move to increase or suspend the nation’s borrowing limit, the results could be devastating. However, that requires cooperation in talks regarding the budget and debt ceiling that Biden is not prepared to do. Both, Biden and Schumer have been holding out for a “clean” debt ceiling hike, meaning they want to raise it without the spending reductions House Republicans are aiming for.

The Limit, Save, Grow Act, which is the Republicans’ current proposal, reportedly, would save $4.8 trillion over the next ten years, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Biden, however, who has vowed to veto the bill, taunted House Republicans just hours before the bill’s passage, in response to GOP criticisms that the president has been “missing in action” on negotiations. Biden said laughing-

“They haven’t figured out the debt limit yet,”, adding… “I’m happy to meet with McCarthy, but not on whether or not the debt limit gets extended. That’s not negotiable.”

-President Joe Biden

A significant feat for Republicans, in the narrowly divided House, the passage of this bill weakens Biden’s and Schumer’s positions. This is especially in light of the fact that the House GOP is holding a line and staring them down with a show of unity around a debt limit plan. According to a statement to Breitbart, Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA), a member of Republican leadership, said-

“I think part of their strategy is they were going to try to call our bluff,” “They didn’t believe we could actually get this done, so this is a really important and symbolic thing for us to do today.”

-Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA)

Raising the debt ceiling through early next year, the bill is packed with budget cutting, conservative priorities. It includes blocking Biden’s student loan bailout, expanding work requirements for welfare recipients, rescinding (retrieving) unspent money allocated toward coronavirus spending, repealing recent IRS funding and certain specific climate-related portions of the “Inflation Reduction Act,” and it limits discretionary spending growth to one percent per year for the next ten years.

A challenge for McCarthy, was achieving a consensus on the legislation, together with House Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R-MN), and others in leadership. Reportedly, Emmer had been whipping votes on the bill since February.  In the days leading up to the vote, however, more than a half dozen Republicans were showing reservations or outright opposition to voting for it.

Even, the House Freedom Caucus Chair, Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA) appeared noncommittal on the legislation, until the day of the vote, indicating after, that the bill was slightly modified in the Rules Committee that he supported. Perry said-

[While the bill] “isn’t perfect,” it is “a huge step,”

- Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA), House Freedom Caucus Chair

In spite of voting absences and a few unsatisfied defectors, that threatened to derail the bill, GOP leaders maintained staunch confidence that they had the votes to see it pass. Reportedly there were several concerned parties, that made a steady stream in and out of McCarthy’s office, all week, as the speaker sought to make certain he had the needed votes.

Assuring his party that the bill is dead on arrival in the Senate, Schumer has shown no signs of a willingness to cooperate with House Republicans at this stage. He said, calling the bill the –

“Default on America Act” [that forces] “Americans to accept either a punch to the gut or a blow to the head.” he added…[The bill is] “a ransom note to the American people to suffer the Republican radical, right-wing agenda or suffer a catastrophic default. Democrats won’t allow it,”

-Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY)

America needs a firm challenge to the Biden administrations clear path of tax-payer funded, spend, spend, spend. There has to be some limit on what the nation is expected to pay. A blank check in funding is not a responsible use of this nation’s hard-earned money. Fiscal responsibility, though very unpopular with the Democrats and certain of the Republicans, needs to be the focus. Americans need to choose wisely for the sake of our children and grand-children’s future.

“Be happy when you work, thankful when you earn, cautious when you spend, shrewd when you save, and charitable when you give.”

-Matshona Dhliwayo
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