‘Step in the Right Direction:’ Speaker Kevin McCarthy Defends Budget Compromise as Conservatives Balk

Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy defended his budget deal with President Joe Biden against conservative critics from his own party on Sunday.

The GOP speaker faced attacks from members of the House Freedom Caucus after unveiling an “agreement in principle” this weekend with the White House. The speaker acknowledged that conservatives might not have gotten everything they sought from the legislation but argued that Democrats got nothing they wanted.

“Maybe it doesn’t do everything for everyone, but this is a step in the right direction that no one thought that we would be able to today,” said McCarthy to “Fox News Sunday,” before touting that the legislation cuts all increases in funding for the IRS in 2023.

McCarthy continued, “I’ll debate this bill with anybody. Is it everything I wanted? No, because we don’t control all of it. But it is the biggest recession in history. It is the biggest cut Congress has ever voted for in that process.”

The deal pulls back some Covid-19 pandemic funds that have not been spent and cut funding granted to the IRS in President Joe Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act. It would also suspend the debt limit until after the presidential election in 2024.

According to McCarthy, the bill will sit for review by the public for 72 hours before coming up for a House vote.
However, some members of the Republican caucus expressed frustration with the ongoing state of negotiations. GOP Representative Andrew Clyde of Georgia said he was a “hard pass” on the deal in its current form.

“A $4 trillion debt ceiling increase? With virtually none of the key fiscally responsible policies passed in the Limit, Save, Grow Act kept intact? Hard pass. Hold the line,” tweeted Clyde.

Republican Representative Dan Bishop of North Carolina agreed with Clyde, describing the plan as an “utter capitulation” earlier this weekend.

Texas GOP Rep, Chip Roy, criticized the bill early Sunday morning, saying it virtually does nothing to roll back the president’s massive expansion of the IRS.

While Speaker McCarthy touted canceling the IRS’s $1.8 billion funding expansion in 2023, critics emphasized it was only a tiny portion of the $80 billion in funds the IRS is set to receive in the upcoming years. McCarthy argued those increases in funding could be canceled each year if Republicans can maintain the majority.

The speaker maintains that the opposition from the GOP members was not an issue “because more than 95% of all those in the conference were very excited.”

The House of Representatives released the 99-page deal text on Sunday evening.

Biden: Agreement has taken “threat of catastrophic default off the table”

On Sunday, President Joe Biden said the bipartisan budget agreement reached with Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy has taken the “threat of catastrophic default off the table.”
The final agreement, which was reached Sunday, comes with only days to spare before a possible first-ever default by the government.

“[The deal] represents a compromise, which means no one got everything they wanted. But, that’s the responsibility of governing,” said Biden. “The agreement prevents the worst possible crisis and default for the first time in our nation’s history.”

When the president was asked what he had to say to members of his party who said he had made concessions in the deal, Biden said, “They’ll find I didn’t.”