McCarthy says Republicans ready for debt bill vote

McCarthy says Republicans ready for debt bill vote

McCarthy says Republicans ready for debt bill vote

WASHINGTON — House Speaker Kevin McCarthy pushed ahead Wednesday with plans for a swift vote on his sweeping debt ceiling package despite a veto threat from the White House after his Republicans made post-midnight concessions to round up support in their slim majority.

Passage of the 320-page package in the House would be a turnaround for the embattled McCarthy as the chamber's Republican majority confronts President Joe Biden with demands for spending restrictions and cuts in exchange for approving $1.5 trillion more debt to pay the nation's bills.

While the president has threatened to veto the Republican bill — which would almost surely die in the Senate anyway — McCarthy is challenging Biden with a GOP plan to kickstart negotiations and prevent a potentially catastrophic federal debt default this summer. 

“We can vote as early as today on this," said Majority Leader Steve Scalise after a morning meeting of House Republicans. “We want to get this done as soon as possible.”

The House launched a noontime debate with lawmakers saying they were expecting a vote later Wednesday, though some Republicans cautioned that a final roll call could still push into Thursday.

A nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office analysis released Tuesday showed the Republican plan would reduce federal deficits by $4.8 trillion over the decade if the proposed changes were enacted into law.

Rank-and-file Republicans, some of who have never before voted to raise the debt limit, were considering just that as they stake a claim in negotiations for their priorities.

Rep. Ralph Norman, R-S.C., said he “wanted double” the deficit savings contained in the bill, but would vote for it.

“I agreed to vote for it because it starts the ball, it gets us in the arena to solve the debt problem,” Norman said. He said, "We’ll pass it today.”