House Republicans notched another victory for their debt ceiling bill early Wednesday that allowed their plan to advance out of committee, Breitbart reported. The procedural vote allowed their Limit, Save, Grow Act of 2023 to narrowly pass later in the day.
Raising the debt ceiling has become a priority for both parties as America faces default on its massive national debt. The Republican bill meant to responsibly do so advanced beyond the final hurdle of getting out of committee and onto the floor for a vote.
That vote favored Republicans 219-210 to make it out to a final vote. The rules set forth made significant changes to the bill, including backing off tax credit repeals for ethanol and biofuels, that helped get more Republicans on board.
The committee vote tweaked work requirements for programs like Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. This ties into Republicans' efforts to not only raise the debt ceiling but also to cut out-of-control spending.
"How long can we go on spending beyond our means before it all crashes or before we get into hyperinflation?" House Rules Committee member Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) said at the committee meeting. "I think the irresponsible thing to do is to raise the debt limit without taking any measures to take us off of this path, this road to hell—paved with great intentions—but with no fiscal responsibility or accountability."
Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) and Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-MT) similarly touted the benefits of the bill in an op-ed they jointly penned. "The House Republican plan takes direct aim at President Biden’s executive overreach," the fiscally-conservative lawmakers explained.
"The plan will return $90.5 billion in unspent COVID money and repeal the $80 billion Democrats approved for their IRS army and the trillions of dollars in Green New Deal credits that will put Americans out of work by driving innovation and production down with burdensome and costly regulation," it went on. The piece noted that there will be cuts to "more than $100 billion in wasteful spending" that will limit the punitive power of leftist government agencies.
"Importantly, the House Republican plan follows the lead of the Let’s Get to Work Act and places real work requirements on federal programs that encourage employment," the lawmakers added. "With more Americans working, our economy will benefit and our society will be far more productive," Scott and Rosendale continued.
"The Republican plan moves America in the right direction. It is fiscally responsible, and, best of all, truly reflects how the American people want their government to run," the piece concluded.
The measure passed later Wednesday in a 217-215 vote, The Hill reported. However, four Republicans did not join House Speaker Kevin McCarthy's effort, which is not expected to become law but rather force Democrats to negotiate.
The GOP nay votes included Reps. Matt Gaetz of Florida, Tim Burchett of Tennessee, Ken Buck of Colorado, and Andy Biggs of Arizona. Gaetz wanted a 30-hour work or volunteer requirement for able-bodied recipients of government assistance rather than the proposed 20 hours.
Burchett already expressed his refusal to allow the U.S. to take on more debt before the vote was held. "I have never voted to raise our debt limit no matter who was in charge," he said in a statement.
"Our country is nearly $32 trillion in debt right now. That’s a debt neither we nor our kids or grandkids can pay," he added. "We need to do whatever is necessary to get back to a balanced budget and meaningful debt reduction so this issue doesn’t keep coming back to haunt us."
Other Republicans who opposed the bill felt it didn't go far enough in cutting spending, and perhaps they're correct. The debt ceiling will continue to be an issue as long as the government keeps spending more than it takes in, unfortunately.