GOP Budget Plan Alarms Democrats; Durbin Lays Out Nov. Schedule

Top congressional Democrats are warning that House Republicans are risking an economic catastrophe by planning to use next year’s debt-limit deadline to extract fiscally conservative concessions — potentially including entitlement eligibility changes and other measures, Jack Fitzpatrick reports.

House Republicans interested in becoming Budget Committee chairman in the next Congress said in interviews that the GOP will use an upcoming deadline to raise or suspend the debt limit to push for fiscally conservative priorities. The Bipartisan Policy Center has estimated the deadline will fall in the third quarter of calendar year 2023.

Earlier: Entitlement, Spending Cap Plans Linked by GOP to Debt-Limit Deal

“In terms of Social Security and Medicare, they have said they would use the debt ceiling,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said at a New York roundtable on health care issues, according to a transcript by her office. “So you have to raise the debt ceiling, they would use that as leverage to make President Biden agree to slashing Social Security and Medicare. We simply cannot let that happen.”

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Rep. John Yarmuth (D-Ky.), chair of the House Budget Committee (right) listens to ranking member Rep. Jason Smith (R-Mo.), in March 2022 in Washington, D.C.

House Budget Chair John Yarmuth (D-Ky.) said Republicans are risking the stability of the US economy by planning to use the debt limit as leverage. “Congressional Republicans are so hellbent on gutting Social Security and ending Medicare as we know it that they are willing to risk economic catastrophe to get it done,” Yarmuth said in a statement.

Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.), chair of the Joint Economic Committee, also said in a statement that Republicans’ plan is “a political game that would be economically catastrophic for seniors, families and our entire economy.”

Durbin Lays Out Senate Plans for November

The Senate will likely spend its first week back after the midterm election pursuing a dual-track strategy of confirming more of President Joe Biden’s judicial nominees and advancing this year’s National Defense Authorization Act, Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) told reporters today.

The chamber is scheduled to return Nov. 14 and immediately vote on whether to advance a nominee to serve as a district court judge in Puerto Rico. Durbin said he expects consideration of nominee Maria del R. Antongiorgi-Jordan to be quickly followed by votes on other judges.

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Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) listens as Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) speaks during a press conference on Sept. 28, 2022 in Washington, D.C.

But he said the Senate at the same time will work on the NDAA (H.R. 7900), must-pass legislation governing Pentagon and other national security programs. The Senate on Tuesday formally took up the measure, making it the chamber’s pending business when lawmakers return.

“We can do it in parallel under the Senate rules, and I’m hoping that the judicial nominees will fit in with the other agenda because they’re critical,” Durbin said after holding a Judiciary Committee hearing on several more of Biden’s picks.

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Join Our Oct. 19 Election Webinar : Bloomberg Government’s election guru, Greg Giroux, will be providing a high-level update on the midterm elections and will take your questions on our Oct. 19 webinar. Register here .

To contact the reporters on this story: Jack Fitzpatrick in Washington at; Nancy Ognanovich in Washington at; Andrew Small at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michaela Ross at