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Debt limit deal would be ‘transformational’ for Americans, says McCarthy

US President Joe Biden hosts debt ceiling talks with US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, US, May 22, 2023. Reuters / Leah Millis

Leah Millis | reuters

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said Sunday that a potential deal with the House Republican White House to address the nation’s debt ceiling would be “transformational” for the American public.

McCarthy told reporters that negotiators worked through the night to finalize the details of the agreement, and that they tried to keep the bill to about 150 pages to make it easier for members of Congress and the public to digest. McCarthy said President Joe Biden and McCarthy are scheduled to speak at 2 p.m. ET Sunday to make sure both sides agree on the language of the bill.

“We know any time you sit down and negotiate between two parties that you have to work with both sides of the aisle,” McCarthy said. “So it’s not 100% what everybody wants, but when you look, the country is going to be stronger.”

Once the deal is finalized, it will need to pass Congress and get Biden’s signature to avoid a catastrophic default on US sovereign debt. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned that failing to raise the debt limit by early June could lead to “economic chaos”.

McCarthy said Sunday that he thinks Republicans will support the bill, and given that Biden has given his approval, he expects Democrats to be supportive as well. McCarthy also praised Biden and his staff for how they conducted themselves during the tense negotiations.

“I thought their team was very professional, very smart, very tough at the same time,” he said.

Some House Republicans, such as Rep. Chip Roy of Texas, have been vocal critics of the deal on social media. Roy wrote in a tweet On Sunday, he is “going to try” to stop the passage of the bill in the House.

McCarthy encouraged members of Congress on Sunday to read the bill when it was released before taking a stand.

“Members should actually be allowed to read the bill before deciding whether to proceed,” he said.

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