Speaking on the House floor Wednesday, Majority Leader Steve Scalise, R-La., did not indicate any changes to that plan, but said members would be given 24 hours notice “for any more votes at the end of the week or next week.” He said members have 72 hours to read the legislative text of any debt limit agreement before being asked to vote on it.
The main holdup is GOP proposals to cut discretionary appropriations below the fiscal 2023 level by about $131 billion. President Joe Biden’s budget for fiscal 2024, however, proposes a $127 billion increase, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
Democrats over the weekend agreed to roughly meet in the midterms, offering a freeze — though exactly what the accounting will look like is unclear.
Other sources said that includes moving additional health care benefits for veterans exposed to the poison into mandatory funding, removing it from discretionary caps and making the White House figure that smaller than the real thing. Last year’s new veterans benefit law allowed a certain amount to be transferred each year, but the two parties differed on how much.
Rep. Don Bacon, R-Neb., said he thinks negotiators will end up somewhere between fiscal 2022 and 2023 levels. One possibility he has heard floated is to take spending into fiscal 2022 and adjust for inflation thereafter. Using the Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation gauge, that could result in a nearly $20 billion cut, according to calculations by Don Schneider, deputy head of US policy at Piper Sandler.