These Senators Have Committed to Back McCarthy’s Debt Limit Package – will it be enough?

The Republican’s debt ceiling bill likely faces an uphill battle in the Senate.  

The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday passed the Limit, Save, Grow Act of 2023 as the debt ceiling debate continues in the nation’s capital. Now, the Senate has the opportunity to vote on the bill, which would “limit federal spending, save taxpayer dollars,” and “grow the economy,” according to House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif. 

The legislation passed 217-215 in the House but did not get a single vote from a Democrat. Given Democrats’ control of the Senate, it is unlikely the bill will pass in its current form. Still, many Senate Republicans are backing it and calling on their Democratic colleagues to do likewise.  

“Americans are tired of Washington spending their hard-earned dollars like they grow on trees,” Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., told The Daily Signal in an emailed statement. “What’s worse, the Left has spent the last two years shoveling out billions of dollars to fund their socialist agenda, including Green New Deal programs, student loan bailouts, and 87,000 IRS agents to target hardworking taxpayers.”  

“The Limit, Save, Grow Act takes necessary steps to put our country back on a fiscally responsible path and is expected to save the American taxpayer more than $4 trillion over the next decade,” Blackburn said.  

Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., expressed his support for the legislation while also criticizing President Joe Biden and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., who have both said they will not negotiate on the debt limit.

“Wyoming families need a clean break from the reckless spending of the last two years. This spending led to record-high prices, and it’s crushing Americans,” Barrasso told The Daily Signal in an emailed statement. “House Republicans put forward a serious solution to rein in Washington spending, reduce waste, and lower costs.”  

“Congress has taken up meaningful spending reform with the debt limit eight times in the last 40 years. President Biden’s and Senator Schumer’s refusal to negotiate is a doomed mission and not what the American people deserve,” Barrasso said.   

The office of Sen. Mike Braun, R-Ind., told The Daily Signal in an email that the senator will support the bill in its current form.  

When asked if she would support the legislation in its current form, the office of Sen. Katie Britt, R-Ala., said: 

Yes, if Senator Schumer wasn’t blocking this from coming to the floor she would vote for it. It’s past time for Senator Schumer and President Biden to come to the table. Refusing to do so is a dereliction of duty on their part. 

Sen. Katie Britt, R-Ala

“I applaud Speaker McCarthy, the House Freedom Caucus and House Republicans for passing the Limit, Save, Grow Act which I look forward to supporting in the Senate,” Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., said in a statementWednesday.  

In a joint statement issued earlier this month with Scott, Republican Sens. Braun, Mike Lee of Utah, and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin indicated they would back the House bill if given the opportunity. The four Republicans applauded “Speaker Kevin McCarthy and House Republicans on their sweeping debt limit package that repeals President Biden and Washington Democrats’ obsession with over-taxing and over-spending while reforming the wasteful practices responsible for bringing America’s debt to $31 trillion.” 

Johnson told The Daily Signal that he supports the House bill to increase the debt ceiling “with fiscal controls and pro-growth elements attached,” adding that “Senator Schumer should bring [it] to the Senate for passage as soon as possible.” 

Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., said the bill “needs to be considered,” calling it a “serious, thoughtful plan” in comments to the press this week. Thune did express concern over whether House leadership could reach an agreement with Biden on the debt ceiling bill, which includes more than $4 trillion in government spending cuts. 

According to a press release, the legislation would specifically: 

  • End the Era of Reckless Washington Spending. 
  • Reclaim Unspent COVID Funds. 
  • Defund Biden’s IRS Army. 
  • Repeal ‘Green New Deal’ Tax Credits. 
  • Prohibit Biden’s Student Loan Giveaway to the Wealthy. 
  • Strengthen the Workforce and Reduce Childhood Poverty. 
  • Prevent Executive Overreach and Restore Article I. 
  • Lower Energy Costs and Utilities.

“I commend Speaker McCarthy and House Republicans for cutting spending and finding a responsible path forward with regard to the debt ceiling,” Sen. Eric Schmitt, R-Mo., told The Daily Signal. “The ball is in Joe Biden and Chuck Schumer’s court—Democrats need to stop playing politics with America’s debt, face reality, and come to the negotiating table.”   

Schumer has already said he will not support the GOP bill.  

“The Republican Default on America Act is DOA in the Senate,” Schumer wrote on Twitter Wednesday. “It’s a ransom note to the American people to suffer the Republican radical, right-wing agenda or suffer a catastrophic default. Democrats won’t allow it.”  

The White House has also vowed Biden would veto the bill, which proposes to lift the debt limit to $1.5 trillion, or through March 31, 2024, whichever comes first.  

The White House and Schumer’s office did not immediately respond to The Daily Signal’s request for comment. Neither did any of the other 50 Democrats in the Senate.