Sunday, December 3

United States avoids suspension of payments


Lawmakers have until June 5 to approve the measure in both chambers, the date on which the Treasury Department estimates that the country will exhaust its reserves.

Kevin McCarthy and Steve Scalise, in one of the rooms of the capitol where the agreement has been voted on.MANDEL NGANAFP
  • Q&A The keys to the debate on the ‘debt ceiling’ and the fear of US suspension of payments

In the end, the Democratic minority has saved andThe agreement reached by Republican Kevin McCarthy with Joe Biden to avoid a suspension of payments by the United States that would have had a devastating impact on the economies of that country and the world. In total, more Democrats (165) than Republicans (149) have voted in favor of the agreement. The result is that, despite the defections of his own co-religionists, McCarthy can present a political victory, although it is no less true that the agreement he reached with Biden only supposes in practice a cut in real spending in a series of items that barely amount to 8% of the US State Budget. And even then, the agreed measures could easily be reversed in 2024 and subsequent years.

In reality, the vote has been a staging of the fractures of both the Democratic and Republican parties. Among the first, which controls the White House and the Senate, the left wing has voted against the agreement, because it considers that any cut in public spending is negative. On the side, there are a number of Democratic legislators who also opposed it simply for making McCarthy’s life more difficult.

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In the Republican Party – which controls the House of Representatives and, indirectly, the Supreme Court, which is dominated by very conservative judges – the situation is different. The weight of the extreme right is very strong, and that explains why more than a third of the legislators voted against the agreement, which means a disqualification of McCarthy himself, who in January had to submit to no less than fifteen votes until he was sworn in as House speaker precisely because to the opposition of that group. The two leading candidates for the presidency for the Republican Party, donald trump – who leads overwhelmingly in the polls – and Ron DeSantis They opposed the agreement, which would have meant condemning the US to a partial suspension of payments on Monday that, if not resolved, would have ended up being a total ‘default’ in weeks or months.

The question now is whether the most conservative Republicans, grouped in the so-called ‘Freedom Caucus’ are going to retaliate, in the form of a motion of no confidence, against McCarthy. It’s a move that seems highly unlikely. The ‘Freedom Caucus’ does not have a candidate who can replace the current president, and the initiative will only plunge the Republican Party into an even bigger civil war than it already has.

After approval in the Chamber, the text goes to the Senate, which must approve it before Monday so that the US federal state does not begin to restrict its payments. There 60 votes are needed, but it seems almost certain that there are, thanks to the support of the Republican ‘establishment’ for the Democrats, who have 50 seats.

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