The House of Representatives has approved legislation to suspend the debt ceiling, just days before the U.S. is set to run out of money to pay its bills. Wednesday’s vote was 314 to 117, with a majority of House Democrats voting in favor. If it’s approved by the Senate, the legislation will cap domestic spending below the current rate of inflation, while allowing larger increases to the military budget. House Minority Whip Katherine Clark said Republicans had forced Democrats’ hand.
Rep. Katherine Clark: “There is no perfect negotiation when you are the victims of extortion. Nobody likes to pay a ransom note, and that’s exactly what tonight’s vote is.”
Some Republicans voted against the deal, saying it didn’t cut enough from social programs; meanwhile, nearly 40 members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus voted “no.” Caucus chair Pramila Jayapal of Washington slammed the legislation, saying it “rips food assistance away from poor people and disproportionately Black and brown women, pushes forward pro-corporate permitting policies and a pipeline in direct violation of the community’s input, and claws back nearly 25% of the funding Democrats allocated for the IRS to go after wealthy tax cheats.”
The legislation now heads to the Senate, which will need to act quickly to avoid a catastrophic default on U.S. debts before a June 5 deadline set by the Treasury Department.