Biden and McCarthy on the Brink of Triumph Following Prolonged Debt Drama @POTUS
As Sunday morning unfolded, several House conservatives rallied against a deal they deemed "insanity," while some progressives privately grumbled about their party's perceived lack of accomplishments.
Nonetheless, as President Joe Biden and Speaker Kevin McCarthy's agreement was scrutinized by lawmakers, it became evident that the majority of the discontent was originating from the expected fringes.
Barring any significant setbacks upon the release of the final text later on Sunday, McCarthy and his counterpart, Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, appeared poised to secure the necessary votes to pass the bill during the upcoming week. This outcome would mark a surprisingly uneventful conclusion to months of high-stakes theatrics between McCarthy and Biden, allowing both to claim victory by averting a fiscal catastrophe.
However, this outcome remains contingent upon certain conditions. Negotiators have yet to disclose the complete details of their plan, which has led lawmakers and their aides to scrutinize the agreement during breaks from their Memorial Day celebrations.
Should any issues arise within either party, it is acknowledged by Republicans and Democrats alike that such complications could significantly impact their respective efforts to secure votes. Thus far, the whipping operations have proceeded smoothly, particularly for Republicans, with conservative leader Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) expressing early support for the deal.
Despite some members of the House Freedom Caucus taking to Twitter to criticize the McCarthy-Biden compromise, none have publicly indicated a readiness to seek retribution, despite rumors circulating among conservative circles about a potential move to oust the speaker. Although McCarthy and his allies privately expressed concerns about conservative discontent leading to a vote of no confidence—a lingering threat from his speakership fight—there is presently no sign of such an uprising.
Rep. Ralph Norman (R-S.C.), a member of the House Freedom Caucus and one of the 20 Republicans who opposed McCarthy earlier in the year, refrained from disclosing whether he would consider the so-called motion to vacate.
"I am not ruling anything in or out until I see the text," Norman conveyed in a message to POLITICO on Sunday, while affirming that he is likely to oppose the agreement if the preliminary understanding he has heard is reflected in the legislative language. "In essence, I need to see the details put in writing."
While McCarthy briefed his GOP members on some particulars on Saturday evening, the White House did not provide a briefing to the Democratic caucus until 5 p.m. on Sunday. Jeffries also informed his members in a "Dear Colleague" letter on Sunday that the full Democratic caucus would convene in person before voting on the deal.
During the briefing on Sunday, Democratic lawmakers posed questions to Office of Management and Budget Director Shalanda Young, National Economic Council Deputy Director Aviva Aron-Dine, and White House senior adviser John Podesta about various policy aspects of the debt agreement, according to four individuals familiar with the matter.
Over the next two days, they are scheduled to receive six additional briefings on the legislation, covering topics such as TANF and SNAP, budget caps, and permitting, with two briefings assigned to each category. With the expectation that the bill's text would be released on Sunday, lawmakers were advised to prepare for a return to Washington, with votes on the debt package as early as Wednesday and suspension votes on Tuesday.