Negotiations about making a needed lift to the nation’s debt ceiling have culminated in what appears to be a series of wins for Democrats.
For starters, details of the arrangement made public over the weekend indicated the lift would extend for two years, pushing the next examination of the issue — save any major intervention — to roughly May and June of 2025… after the next presidential election, in which Biden is running. According to early details, expansions of work requirements for federal benefit programs, which Republicans wanted, were kept drastically limited, adding several years onto the age range in which those receiving help from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program must abide by work demands and not including any new Medicaid work requirements.
“However, the deal would also expand exemptions for veterans, people who are homeless and others in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, as food stamps are formally known,” CNN reported. Republicans had made the expansion of work requirements a key sticking point, so it looks like they essentially lost there. Though Republicans have also clamored — feverishly — against new funding for the Internal Revenue Service, most of the additional funding approved as part of Democrats’ Inflation Reduction Act would be left intact. Just the staffing funding request for fiscal year 2023 would be slashed, per CNN. Republicans had claimed some kind of targeting of everyday Americans was imminent, or something.
“It is an important step forward that reduces spending while protecting critical programs for working people and growing the economy for everyone,” Biden said in prepared remarks. “And, the agreement protects my and Congressional Democrats’ key priorities and legislative accomplishments… And, this agreement is good news for the American people, because it prevents what could have been a catastrophic default and would have led to an economic recession, retirement accounts devastated, and millions of jobs lost.” Congress still has to actually pass the deal very soon.