COMPASS: Debt Ceiling Deal?

April 25th, 2023

Good afternoon from Capitol Hill.

The House and Senate are both in session this week. Last week the House passed a party line bill to make sure biological men cannot compete in women and girls sports. The Senate debated amendments and then passed a bill to authorize appropriations for the U.S. Fire Administration and firefighter assistance grant programs. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) offered an amendment to provide specific funding to fire departments who had fired firefighters on the basis of refusing or voicing opposition to the COVID-19 vaccine mandate, but only if they rehired those firefighters. This amendment failed 45-54, with Senators Collins (R-ME), Murkowski (R-AK), Romney (R-UT), and Rounds (R-SD), joining with the liberal senators in opposing the amendment.

Last week, Republican House leadership unveiled their plan to address the nation’s debt ceiling in their high stakes negotiation with the Senate and President Biden. The President has refused to engage in negotiations with the Speaker since his meeting with McCarthy back at the beginning of February.

The President’s refusal to negotiate has also caught the attention of members of his own party, as Politico reported, “But a growing contingent of Democrats are acknowledging that Biden’s blanket refusal to engage with McCarthy may need to change – especially if House Republicans manage to pass their bill as planned next week.” Politico continued to highlight these concerns by writing, “Should McCarthy accomplish that step, several House Democrats said this week that Biden would need to meet with the Speaker. Not doing so, they worry, could make it appear to voters that the White House isn’t working with requisite urgency on an issue with potentially drastic economic consequences.”

The Speaker’s plan was posted to the House Rules Committee website last Friday afternoon, with a markup planned on the Rule this afternoon at 4:00pmEST. There are indications that, should conservatives support the agreement, the package will be voted on by the full House this week. This would put the House of Representatives in the :drivers seat, as the Senate seems content to pass resolutions like a resolution recognizing the importance of maple syrup production, and President Biden’s press secretary saying that passing this debt ceiling bill will “quite literally melt bones.”

With every major bill, there are always some last minute concerns, but conservative support for the Speaker’s plan appears to be growing. Center Renewing America President, Russ Vought has written in support of the Speaker’s plan writing, “This measure will force Congress to cut funding for programs that are destructive to our social fabric and fuel radical ideologies antithetical to the American idea” the support is growing. Conservatives both inside and outside of Congress have been key players in these negotiations. It is a critical time in the conservative movement’s history. A history that has largely seen conservatives on the outside looking in, are now actively included in what is being included in the bill.

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ICYMI: State Freedom Caucus Network President, Andy Roth, joined Jesse Kelly to discuss their efforts in the states