What to Know in Washington: Lawmakers Who Could Stall Debt Deal

Bloomberg Government subscribers get the stories like this first. Act now and gain unlimited access to everything you need to know. Learn more.

The debt limit deal struck by President Joe Biden and Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) is heading toward a House vote today after clearing the House Rules committee Tuesday night with a 7-6 margin.

Both sides have been working furiously to line up support for an agreement that’s spurring criticism from both ends of the ideological spectrum. Here are a number of lawmakers to watch who could jeopardize the agreement.

Photographer: Al Drago/Bloomberg
The U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. at night


Wesley Hunt: Hunt’s opposition to the deal came as something of a surprise. The freshman supported McCarthy during the protracted Speaker debate in January, but said in a tweet that the “concessions made by the Speaker in his negotiations with President Biden fall far short of my expectations.”

Bob Good: The Virginian is one of original hold-outs to McCarthy’s speakership in January — the most vocal group against his deal with Biden. “This is a failure of leadership on the Republican side,” Good said in a phone interview Tuesday. “It is a capitulation to the Democrats’ position.”

Scott Perry: The conservative leader of the House Freedom Caucus said the deal “fails completely,” signaling almost certain opposition from the wider group of the caucus’ roughly 40 hard-right members. They were always seen as likely opponents of any compromise that fell short of the GOP-only bill they helped write. What remains to be seen is if the group also tries to oust McCarthy.


Pramila Jayapal: The leader of Congressional Progressive Caucus, Jayapal has criticized the Biden-endorsed deal, fearing concessions to Republicans would force “harmful spending cuts,” “bad permitting policies,” and more work requirements for social services.

Jared Golden: Golden is a frequent wild card when it comes to big-stakes bills. He has no problem bucking his party and has voted just 68% of the time with his fellow Democrats this Congress, according to a Bloomberg Government tabulation. He and other members of the Blue Dog Coalition may be pivotal votes.

Raul Grijalva: If Biden and McCarthy thought easing permitting requirements would help attract some votes, Grijalva’s reaction shows the potential cost on the left. The ranking member on the Natural Resources Committee said the bill “gives polluters a shield, inevitably worsening an already unacceptable status quo.”

Jonathan Tamari, Zach C. Cohen, Emily Wilkins highlight seven more lawmakers who might jeopardize the agreement.

Debt Deal Latest

Debt Limit Deal Heads to House Vote After Clearing Key Hurdle

The bill would set the course for federal spending for the next two years and suspend the debt ceiling until Jan. 1, 2025 — postponing another clash over borrowing until after the presidential election.

  • Democrats will deliver at least enough votes in combination with Republicans to guarantee House passage, Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) said Tuesday. Read more
  • Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) said on CNBC that the negotiated bill to increase the debt ceiling has enough support to pass the House. Read more.

Lobby Against Covid Money Clawback Begins Ahead of Next Deadline

Before Congress even passes a bill to raise the debt ceiling, public health and medical research interest groups want lawmakers to renege on their agreement to cap future domestic spending and rescind billions of dollars from federal pandemic programs.

Debt Limit Deal Speeds Up Fight for Additional IRS Funds

A cut to the IRS in the debt limit deal injects new uncertainty into the agency’s long-term overhaul plans, accelerating a fight over the agency’s future once it exhausts the remaining multiyear funds.

Debt Deal SNAP Rules to Stay Out of Farm Bill, Top Democrat Says

Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) said changes to nutrition programs will be “settled” after the debt ceiling legislation passes, shutting down conversations about work requirements for food aid in the farm bill.

US Cash Pile Bounces From Lowest Since 2017 Amid Debt Wrangling

The amount of money the government has to pay its bills rose from the lowest level since 2017, giving the administration a little more breathing room.


  • The president meets with his federal emergency preparedness and response team on extreme weather preparedness at noon.
  • Biden leaves Washington for Colorado Springs around 4:30 p.m.
  • Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby hold a press briefing at 1:30 p.m.


  • The House votes on debt deal around 8:30 p.m.
  • The Senate holds procedural vote to rescind Biden’s student loan forgiveness around 2:30 p.m.

What Else We’re Reading

FDIC to Release Report on Bank System Health Spanning Failures

The FDIC today will publish a comprehensive report on the health of the banking system in the period when Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank failed.

  • The SEC is inquiring about how private equity firms steered deposits, including client funds, out of Silicon Valley Bank before its collapse. Read more.

Democrats Question Meatpackers After Child Labor Findings

Senate Democrats are demanding answers from Cargill, JBS Foods, Tyson Foods, and other companies that contracted with a sanitation firm linked to migrant child labor.

Biden Withdraws Road Safety Nominee as GOP Blasts Climate Record

The Biden administration on Tuesday withdrew its nomination of Ann Carlson to head the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration after she faced opposition from energy groups and Republicans over her climate background.

North Korea Warns of New Launch ‘Soon’ After Satellite Failure

North Korea confirmed that its effort to launch a military spy satellite into orbit failed, and said it would try again soon, drawing condemnation from the US, Japan, and South Korea.

China Woos Dimon, Musk as Pressure Builds on Xi to Boost Economy

China is rolling out the red carpet for global business leaders including Jamie Dimon and Elon Musk, seeking to allay fears the world’s second-largest economy is becoming more hostile toward foreign capital.

To contact the reporter on this story: Giuseppe Macri in Washington at gmacri@bgov.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kayla Sharpe at ksharpe@bloombergindustry.com

Stay informed with more news like this – from the largest team of reporters on Capitol Hill – subscribe to Bloomberg Government today. Learn more.