Bipartisan legislation to suspend the debt limit until after the 2024 election cleared its first critical hurdle Tuesday night, when the House Rules Committee endorsed the terms for a floor debate scheduled for Wednesday.
Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and President Joe Biden, who negotiated the package, are likely to have the votes to pass the measure, despite growing anger from the hard-right GOP majority and some concerns of the left too.
First, party leaders must adopt the floor rule — a key test of how far conservatives are willing to go to sink the bill. Because rule votes are often along party lines, enough GOP defections could cause the leadership to go back to the drawing board.
The Rules Committee has nine Republicans and four Democrats, but three of the GOP members are fiscal conservatives who could have derailed the entire process even before the rule hit the floor if they had come together and voted against it. of the committee. One of the three, however, backed the rule during the panel’s meeting on Tuesday.
“I look forward to voting for this rule,” Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., said earlier in the Rules meeting. Massie won the inclusion of his proposal to automatically cut current spending by 1 percent if full-year spending bills have not been enacted by January 1, 2024; Supporters say this is a great incentive for lawmakers to complete the appropriations process.