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Legislative Affairs

May 26, 2023

With Debit Limit Nearing Congress Goes Home for Memorial Day Weekend

Key Negotiators Remain in Washington to Reach a Deal

After another week of back-and-forth negotiations on the debit limit, Members of Congress headed home for the holiday weekend just days before what could be a catastrophic never before default on the nation’s debt. With the forecasted “X” date of June 1st, less than a week away, the principal negotiators continue work towards a deal to raise the debt limit.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy remains in Washington this weekend along with key negotiators to hammer out the final details of negotiations between his team and the White House. As is currently being reported, here is where the proposed deal stands:

  • Defense and Veterans funding will be protected from cuts;
  • The debt limit will be raised for at least two years through to 2024;
  • Discretionary spending limits will be also be put in place for at least two years;
  • Domestic spending limits are likely to be less than called for in the House Republican passed plan (FY22 levels);
  • There is also a rumored trigger for an automatic continuing resolution at agreed upon reduced spending levels in the event that appropriations bills are not agreed upon by a certain date;
  • Work requirements and permitting reform are outstanding items that are still being negotiated.

Members on the hard Right and far Left have expressed dismay to outright opposition to emergent details of the deal, signaling that Leaders negotiating the deal on both sides will both have to deliver votes to pass it.

Assuming these final sticking points can be agreed upon by Speaker McCarthy and President Biden, Members will receive 24 hours-notice to return to Washington and will have no less than 72 hours to review the “deal”; the House will act first followed by the Senate. The ability to get a deal passed in advance of Thursday seems all but impossible timing-wise but the deal could be announced as early as this weekend and the Treasury Department either has additional flexibilities to use or would need to prioritize payments on the US debt until such a deal is passed.

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