Tuberville is a ‘no’ vote on debt ceiling; Britt is scrutinizing details

Published: Jun. 1, 2023 at 6:42 PM CDT
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UPDATE: Sen. Katie Britt voted “no” on suspending the debt limit. She issued a statement reading, in part:: “Decisive action and tough decisions are needed to finally get control of wasteful government spending and put America’s fiscal house in order.”

The Senate passed the bill on a 63-36 vote, avoiding a default on the national debt.

Original story:

The congressional deal to avert a first-ever default on the national debt is now in the hands of the Senate.

The House of Representatives passed it Wednesday on a bipartisan vote. The Senate has just days to act. Leaders hope to get the bill on the Senate floor for a vote by Friday in order beat the Treasury Department’s drop-dead deadline of Monday.

The compromise worked about the by White House and House Republican leaders calls for suspending the debt limit until January 2025, limiting non-defense spending for two years and capping the spending increases in 2025 to 1 percent.

Alabama’s junior senator, Republican Katie Britt, told FOX10 News that she is delving into the details of the 99-page bill.

“It’s imperative that we restore fiscal sanity in America,” she said in a statement. “Our country’s ballooning national debt and reckless financial trajectory pose a grave threat to the American Dream surviving for our children and our children’s children.”

A spokesman for Alabama’s other senator, Republican Tommy Tuberville, sad he is voting “no.”

The vote in the House drew opposition from the left and right, with 46 Democrats and 71 Republicans voting “no.” The two Republican representatives in the FOX10 News viewing area came down on opposite sides. Rep. Jerry Carl (R-Mobile), voted “yes,” while Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Pensacola) was one of the “no” votes.

Carl said the deal comes with big spending cuts.

“I don’t see how anybody can vote against a $1.5 trillion deficit reduction, a $2 trillion spending cut to Congress,” he said. “And that’s the largest spending cut that is in history.”

But experts say that it is not even close to the biggest when measured as a share of the nation’s economic output, which most economists consider the most reliable way to measure government spending. And The New York Times reported that side deals released by the White House would add back about $500 million in spending over a decade, reducing the projected savings by about a third.

The Congressional Budget Office casts doubt on anticipated savings from strengthening work requirements for food stamp recipients – a controversial provision that Republican negotiators fought hard for. The agency projects that groups newly exempt from work requirements under the bill, such has veterans and homeless, would lead to heavier foot stamp use and actually would increase spending by $2.1 billion over 10 years.

Carl said the $4.8 trillion spending cuts that the House originally passed was better – but not politically feasible considering Democrats control the Senate and the White House.

“And that’s what people have got to understand.” he said. “This is step one. We will not fix this economy – we will not straighten this government out –with one vote on one bill. It’s impossible.”