President Biden said Wednesday that he believes that things are going according to plan so far for the House to pass the bipartisan debt ceiling package despite several Democrats and Republicans vowing to vote in opposition of the measure.
“We’re going to deal with the debt ceiling,” the president told reporters in the Oval Office. “I think things are going as planned, God willing.”
Biden said he is hopeful that by the time he lands in Colorado later Wednesday evening ahead of a planned address to the U.S. Air Force Academy, the bill will have passed the House. The vote on final passage is scheduled for roughly 8:30 p.m.
“I’ll be landing in Colorado tonight in preparation for my commencement speech at the Air Force Academy tomorrow. And, God willing, by the time I land, Congress will have acted — the House will have acted — and we’ll be one step closer,” the president said.
His comments come as Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) is dealing with conservative opponents of the package, which has to pass before June 5 to avoid the first-ever government default.
“No Republican should vote for this deal. It’s a bad deal,” stated Congressman Chip Roy as quoted by CBS News.
Jim McGovern, for example, criticized the new requirements for those who get benefits under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, believing that “poor people would be even poorer” because of them.
House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, on the other hand, estimated that at least 150 conservatives will vote for the agreement, which means that at least another 68 Democrats are needed to approve it.
Under the contents of the proposal, the U.S. would hold non-defense spending virtually flat in fiscal year 2024 and increase it by 1% during the following calendar year, in addition to suspending the debt limit through January 2025, after coming presidential election.