House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., made a significant announcement on Tuesday, stating that House Democrats would provide the necessary votes to pass debt ceiling legislation in order to avoid a default on June 5, according to The Hill.
Jefferies' affirmation of House Democrats delivering on the votes comes amidst a schism erupting between members of the House GOP over Speaker Kevin McCarthy's (R-Calif.) negotiations with President Joe Biden over the weekend.
Although he didn't specify the precise number of Democrats needed to support the package, Jeffries assured reporters that Democrats would provide enough votes for the plan agreed upon by the Biden administration.
"House Democrats," Jeffries told reporters, "will make sure that the country does not default."
"It is my expectation that House Republicans will keep their commitment to produce at least two-thirds of their conference, which is approximately 150 votes," he added. "Democrats are committed to making sure that we do our part and avoid a default."
The agreement negotiated between Biden and McCarthy includes stricter work requirements for social benefit programs, which liberals had vowed to oppose. However, the deal also relaxes the rules for certain groups, such as veterans, and exempts Medicaid beneficiaries from the new requirements. Jeffries indicated his support, stating that the deal protects important Democratic interests.
McCarthy's endorsement of the deal has drawn the ire of conservatives, with Rep. Dan Bishop, R-N.C., suggesting that the Speaker should lose his leadership position.
Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., further fueled speculation, implying that a push to oust McCarthy would be inevitable if he fails to secure at least half of the GOP conference's support in Wednesday's vote.
Jeffries refrained from commenting on whether Democrats would support McCarthy in such a scenario, emphasizing their current focus on avoiding a catastrophic default.
However, as House Democrats gear up to provide crucial votes to avoid a looming default, concerns over the U.S. credit rating add an extra layer of complexity to the ongoing debt ceiling negotiations. Surprisingly, rating agencies have yet to take action on the U.S. credit rating. This has left experts puzzled, given the recent turmoil surrounding Silicon Valley Bank and the specter of instability in the banking system.
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