President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy have reached a much-awaited budget detail, averting a potentially catastrophic U.S. default just days ahead of a June 5 deadline.
Both sides are expected to point to some victories in the bill. Biden said Sunday the bill ‘represents a compromise, which means no one got everything they wanted.’
The House released the 99-page text of the deal Sunday evening.
READ THE TEXT HERE:
The agreement would keep nondefense spending roughly flat in the 2024 fiscal year and increase it by 1% the following year, as well as provide for a 2-year debt-limit increase.
The agreement would fully fund medical care for veterans at the levels included in Biden’s proposed 2024 budget blueprint, including a fund dedicated to veterans who have been exposed to toxic substances or environmental hazards. Biden sought $20.3 billion for the toxic exposure fund in his budget, and Republican negotiators ensured Sunday that funding was left untouched.
The agreement would expand some work requirements for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, formerly known as food stamps. It would raise the age for existing work requirements from 49 to 54, similar to the Republican proposal, but those changes would expire in 2030. The White House said it would at the same time reduce the number of vulnerable people – including veterans and people who are homeless – of all ages who are subject to the requirements.
The agreement would rescind about $30 billion in unspent coronavirus relief money that Congress approved through previous bills, with exceptions made for veterans’ medical care, housing assistance, Indian Health Service and some $5 billion for a program focused on rapidly developing the next generation of COVID-19 vaccines and treatments.
The deal puts in place changes in the National Environmental Policy Act for the first time in nearly four decades that would designate ‘a single lead agency’ to develop environmental reviews, in hopes of streamlining the process.
Republicans have long sought to reel back the Biden administration’s efforts to provide student loan relief and aid to millions of borrowers during the coronavirus pandemic. While the GOP proposal to rescind the White House’s plan to waive $10,000 to $20,000 in debt for nearly all borrowers failed to make it into the package, Biden agreed to put an end to the pause on student loan repayment. Once Biden signs the package, the pause in student loan repayments would end within 60 days.
McCarthy, R-Calif., said the House will vote on the legislation Wednesday, giving the Senate time to consider it before June 5 – the date when Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the U.S. could default on its debt obligations if lawmakers did not act in time.
Fox News has learned that the House Rules Committee is set to meet at 3 p.m. Tuesday to prepare the debt ceiling bill for floor debate on Wednesday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.