On Wednesday, April 26, the House of Representatives voted to pass the GOP proposal to avert the impending government default—the Limit, Save, Grow (LSG) Act. The measure was advanced by a margin of 217-215, with four Republican lawmakers—Reps. Tim Burchett (R-TN), Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Ken Buck (R-CO) and Andy Biggs (R-AZ)—siding with all present members of the Democratic caucus to oppose the legislation. GOP resistance to the bill stemmed from some members’ beliefs that the proposal did not go far enough to curb federal spending.
In a press conference following the vote, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) told reporters that the House had “lifted the debt limit; sent it to the Senate; [and] done their job.” The LSG Act is not expected to gain the support of any Democrats in its present form and is unlikely to receive consideration in the Democratic-controlled Senate. However, the proposal provides House Republicans an opening stance in debt-ceiling negotiations, which are expected to continue in the lead-up to “x date”—after which point the Treasury Department may not be able to fulfill all of the government’s obligations. Estimates on when the x date will occur are dependent on incoming 2022 and first quarter 2023 tax receipts, which could put the date as soon as early June or extend it into July. The Treasury Department has not released any updated outlook.
Before the vote, President Joe Biden addressed the proposal during a public appearance at a union hall in Maryland. In his speech, Biden dismissed the LSG Act as an unrealistic offer that threatens a default “unless [he] agree[s] to all these wacko notions [Republicans] have” to cut the federal budget in exchange for preventing a default. Notwithstanding current partisan divisions, McCarthy and Biden are expected to initiate negotiations in the coming weeks in an effort to reach a compromise deal. Last week, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) advocated for good-faith negotiations on the debt ceiling, stressing that the only solution was for Biden and McCarthy “to come together and solve the problem.”
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