Debt Deal is Headed for Passage
Author: Greg Valliere
May 29, 2023
AS WITH EVERYTHING IN WASHINGTON, there probably will be last-minute suspense. The full House gets 72 hours to examine the bill, so passage there won’t come until late Wednesday at the earliest. With huge defections from the right wing, Speaker Kevin McCarthy will need close to 100 House Democrats to vote for the bill.
IN THE SENATE, it’s likely that there are enough votes for passage, although there will be an attempt to filibuster against the bill, especially from defense hawks like Lindsey Graham who feel the Pentagon will get far less than required. Only one vote could stall a measure for a few days, so this could drag on until the weekend in the Senate — perilously close to the June 5 default deadline.
ANOTHER WILD CARD is that most members have not read the bill, which has lots of curve balls tucked into provisions. West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin apparently has prevailed on a pipeline project for his state, just one of many goodies that are in the bill that will generate howling this week.
BUT THE BIG PICTURE IS CLEAR: The markets and the economy are likely to avoid an enormous crisis. There are only two plausible scenarios — first, passage of the entire bill within a week; second, a failure, leading to a market disaster, which then would prompt quick passage. Either way — regular order of dysfunctional — the debt ceiling will get raised and default will be avoided.
THAT’S THE BOTTOM LINE, so let’s enjoy the holiday — and give thanks to those who sacrificed on our behalf.
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