Farm Progress

Debt ceiling bill clears Senate

Biden set to sign the bill into law.

Joshua Baethge, Policy editor

June 2, 2023

2 Min Read
Capitol building
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The Senate voted late Thursday to approve legislation previously passed by the House to suspend the debt limit. The bill passed by a margin of 63-to-36 with 31 Republicans and five Democrats voting against it. Members of the Senate Ag Committee voting against the bill included Sens. Mike Braun, R- Ind., John Fetterman, D- Pa., Deb Fischer, R- Neb., Cindy Hyde-Smith, R- Miss., Roger, Marshall, R-Kan. and Tommy Tuberville, R- Ala.

President Biden will soon sign the bill into law, averting a national default that could have triggered a global financial crisis. While acknowledging nobody got everything they wanted, the president called the agreement a big win for the economy and the American people. He thanked Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D- N.Y., and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R- Ky., for quickly passing the bill.

“Our work is far from finished, but this agreement is a critical step forward, and a reminder of what’s possible when we act in the best interests of our country,” Biden said shortly after the Senate vote. “I look forward to signing this bill into law as soon as possible and addressing the American people directly tomorrow (Friday).”

The bill negotiated by Biden and House leader Kevin McCarthy suspends the debt ceiling until January 2025. It includes modest spending cuts as well as additional work requirements for SNAP recipients. As part of the agreement, Biden’s controversial student loan forgiveness plan was nixed and certain energy infrastructure projects were given the go-ahead.

Related:House approves debt limit deal

While the legislation passed with bipartisan support, many Democrats were dismayed to see cuts to programs they believe working families and poorer Americans depend on. Conversely, many Republicans believe their party should have held out for even more cuts. Sen. Braun said the deal sets America further down the “path to financial ruin.”

“We need deep spending cuts, and Congress shouldn’t get paid until we deliver a real budget that seriously addresses our massive debt,” Braun says. “There’s more drama here than usual but sadly the play is going to end the same way: the big spenders in both parties getting together to increase the size of the federal government."

Though many in the GOP may have agreed with Braun’s assertion, averting a financial meltdown ultimately swayed their decision. There will be more budget battles to come. However, negotiations over the nation’s debt limit are now off the table until after next year’s presidential election.

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About the Author(s)

Joshua Baethge

Policy editor, Farm Progress

Joshua Baethge covers a wide range of government issues affecting agriculture. Before joining Farm Progress, he spent 10 years as a news and feature reporter in Texas. During that time, he covered multiple state and local government entities, while also writing about real estate, nightlife, culture and whatever else was the news of the day.

Baethge earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of North Texas. In his free time, he enjoys going to concerts, discovering new restaurants, finding excuses to be outside and traveling as much as possible. He is based in the Dallas area where he lives with his wife and two kids.

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