As party leaders scramble to find the needed votes, the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus announced on Wednesday it is backing the bill to raise the debt ceiling and put new spending limits in place.
In a joint statement, caucus co-chairmen Reps. Josh Gottheimer, D-N.J., and Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., applauded the legislation as a "very important first step" toward fiscal responsibility.
"The Problem Solvers Caucus bipartisan framework that we endorsed and advanced last month once again played an instrumental role in breaking the gridlock, providing the White House and congressional negotiators with a two-party solution to guide their conversations," Fitzpatrick said. "Our bipartisan caucus is now proud to overwhelmingly endorse this two-party solution, the Fiscal Responsibility Act, that both avoids default and also begins the process of putting our nation on a path to fiscal sustainability."
Gottheimer pointed out that "you have to actually work together" in divided government "to find a solution that can make it across the finish line."
"The Problem Solvers Caucus is proud to endorse this bipartisan agreement to raise the debt ceiling, prevent an economic collapse, and address our longer-term fiscal health," he said. "In the end, this vote will happen from the middle out; and the Problem Solvers will play a key role in getting this legislation across the finish line and preventing a default."
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., hammered out a deal with President Joe Biden over the weekend that raises the debt ceiling for two years, increases work requirements for some public assistance programs, and recoups unspent COVID-19 relief funds.
It also trims nondefense discretionary spending in 2024 and caps discretionary spending at 1% growth in 2025. However, the bill doesn't come close to the spending cuts House Republicans included in their Limit, Save, Grow Act that passed the chamber last month.
For months Biden said he would not negotiate with Republicans over the debt ceiling, but ultimately came to an agreement with McCarthy just ahead of the June 5 deadline, when the Treasury said it would default on the nation's bills.
The Problem Solvers Caucus is made up of 64 members, split evenly between Republicans and Democrats. The caucus seeks bipartisan solutions for legislative problems and has been a key player in advancing bipartisan legislation on a number of issues in recent years.
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