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House to vote on bill

WASHINGTON — House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and White House officials worked to shore up support for a bill that would raise the debt ceiling and cut government spending, as the House prepared to vote Wednesday night on the legislation.

After weeks of grueling negotiations, the Fiscal Responsibility Act passed its first major test Tuesday night in the House Rules Committee, where it advanced to the House floor in a 7-6 vote.

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More than 30 Republican hardliners have publicly opposed the bill and bucked their party’s leadership by lobbying their GOP colleagues to vote against it. Large blocs of Democrats are also expected to vote against the bill, albeit more quietly.

Still, GOP Rep. Patrick McHenry, one of the negotiators on the deal, told CNBC on Wednesday that he believes the bill has enough votes to pass.

The legislation is the result of a deal reached between McCarthy and President Joe Biden, which essentially hands conservatives several ideological policy victories in exchange for their votes to raise the debt ceiling beyond next year’s presidential election and into 2025.

Raising the debt ceiling will require that the bill passes both the GOP-majority House and the Democratic-controlled Senate, a reality that made a compromise deal unavoidable.

Most importantly, the bill would avert a potentially catastrophic U.S. debt default that the Treasury Department said will likely occur next week if Congress does not act to raise the nation’s borrowing limit.

House Democrats began their day Wednesday with a closed door caucus meeting, where they were briefed on the bill by White House negotiators, including presidential counselor Steve Ricchetti, Office of Management and Budget Director Shalanda Young, National Economic Council Deputy Director Aviva Aron-Dine and presidential climate advisor John Podesta.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., who chairs the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said Wednesday morning that she would vote against the bill on the House floor.

Other groups, like the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus and the center-left New Democrat Coalition, have praised the bill.

This is a developing story, please check back for updates.



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