Photo: EPA / JIM LO SCALZO / EFE
WASHINGTON – Democrats and Republicans made a last appeal on Wednesday to get the necessary support to pass a bill that would raise the US debt ceiling.before the start this afternoon of their debate in the House of Representatives.
“Unity is different from unanimity“, admitted at a press conference the leader of the progressive minority in the Lower House, Hakeem Jeffries, who stressed that both the president, Joe Biden, and his negotiating team “have done the best they could” when it came to seal the pact reached over the weekend.
The agreement between the White House and the conservatives to raise the debt ceiling passed its first legislative hurdle on Tuesday after the House Rules Committee allowed its debate starting this Wednesday in the chamber.
“I will support this legislation without question, without reservation or fear, not because it is perfect, but because we cannot let perfection be the enemy of the good,” added Jeffries, who expects a consistent position from Republicans.
In your opinion, the bill avoids a debt default that would be “devastating” to the economy and hurt millions of Americans.
“The question is whether the Republicans will decide to join us and do the right thing. The fact that we still do not know if there are the necessary votes, that (they) depend on the Democrats to avoid disaster is a reflection of the extremism that has taken over the Republican Party, ”he criticized.
The more progressive wing of the Democratic camp has made no secret of its reservations about the proposed cutsbut the party leadership urges to focus on what is important: prevent the first suspension of payments in the history of the country on June 5the date on which the Treasury Department estimates that the reserves will be depleted.
The Republicans also intensified their efforts today so that the law goes ahead and, in a call with the press, they insisted on the importance of approving it.
His “number three” in the Lower House, Elise Stefanik, stated that “the reality is that this is the largest decrease in the deficit in history.”
“And this is the first time in more than a decade that year-over-year spending is going down.. This is a victory and we hope it will have strong support, ”she stressed.
Stefanik assured that “there is broad and solid support,” including from the Freedom Caucus, the most right-wing Republican wing.
For her part, the Indiana congresswoman, also a conservative Erin Houchin, agreed that “this historic reduction in spending” is “an achievement of the Republicans.”
The Biden Administration did not want concessions in the labor requirements to access benefits and “he wanted to remove the debt ceiling without giving in,” Houchin said.
“We have achieved it -he pointed out-, since the existence of these requirements is an important part of the growth of the economy”.
Houchin thus made reference to the tightening of the work requirements for people who have access to social plans, now contemplated in that bill that, after its eventual approval in the House of Representatives, will continue its processing in the Senate before reaching the office. of Biden to be signed into law.
“Although the Lower House still has work to do, senators must be prepared to move this bill forward quickly as soon as it is the Senate’s turn to act,” said the leader of the Democratic majority in that chamber, Chuck Schumer, on Wednesday.
The debate in the Lower House is scheduled to begin at 2:00 p.m. local time (6:00 p.m. GMT) and that the last votes of the day will take place around 8:30 p.m. local time (00:30 GMT on Thursday), which does not mean that the draft will necessarily be voted on today.
If approved in the Lower House, under Republican control, the plan would go to the Senatedominated by Democrats, for his nod before ending up in the Oval Office for Biden’s signature.
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