Legislative Update: Lawmakers Near A Debt Limit Deal

This week President Biden and congressional leaders have continued to work to find agreement on the need to raise the nation’s debt limit. 

Debt Ceiling Negotiations Continue

This week, Congress and the Biden Administration have continued to vigorously debate the contours of a deal to raise the nation’s borrowing authority, also known informally as the debt limit or debt ceiling. This borrowing cap must be raised to pay for expenses lawmakers in Congress have already incurred. The U.S. Treasury Department estimates that the federal government will exhaust current options to service these debt obligations by early June. Failure to raise the debt limit would result in an unprecedented default on the United States’ debt and would have severe economic consequences for the nation’s economy.

Despite the urgency of the situation, negotiations between House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and the Biden administration have yet to culminate in a deal. As shared previously, House Republicans have sought significant spending and policy concessions from Democrats and President Biden in exchange for raising the nation’s borrowing authority. According to recent reports, an emerging agreement does seem to be near which would raise the debt ceiling for the next two years while creating new limits on discretionary spending during that time period. The deal also reportedly would have a mechanism to incentivize Congress to pass all 12 annual spending bills through the existing budget and appropriations process aligned with this wider, emerging agreement. 

However, negotiators have still been unable to find agreement on several other Republican priorities including the imposition of new work requirements for certain social safety net programs and permitting reforms, both of which Republicans are seeking in a final deal. Most recently, House appropriations leaders have cancelled planned markups for several fiscal year 2024 (FY24) spending bills—an acknowledgment that the ongoing debt limit negotiations are likely to set new overall spending constraints for the upcoming federal fiscal year.

At this time these discussions remain extremely fluid. As these negotiations continue, Advance CTE  will continue to closely monitor developments related to this situation and the potential impacts a final deal may have on the Career Technical Education (CTE) community.

Steve Voytek, Policy Advisor 

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