Still not enough.
What are the $136 billion cuts in the deal between Speaker Kevin McCarthy and President Joe Biden?
Not enough, to be honest.
First and foremost, the bill suspends the debt limit for two years “for the beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act and ending on January 1, 2025.”
The language means the Treasury Secretary can borrow money he or she needs to pay our bills:
(1) the face amount of obligations issued under chapter 31 of such title and the face amount of obligations whose principal and interest are guaranteed by the United States Government (except guaranteed obligations held by the Secretary of the Treasury) outstanding on January 2, 2025, exceeds
(2) the face amount of such obligations out10 standing on the date of the enactment of this Act.
(c) RESTORING CONGRESSIONAL AUTHORITY OVER THE NATIONAL DEBT.—
(1) EXTENSION LIMITED TO NECESSARY OBLIGATIONS.—An obligation shall not be taken into account under subsection (b)(1) unless the issuance of such obligation was necessary to fund a commitment incurred pursuant to law by the Federal Government that required payment before January 2, 2025.
(2) PROHIBITION ON CREATION OF CASH RE20 SERVE DURING EXTENSION PERIOD.—The Secretary of the Treasury shall not issue obligations during the period specified in subsection (a) for the purpose of increasing the cash balance above normal operating balances in anticipation of the expiration of such period.
The bill cuts back the billions given to the IRS in the Inflation Reduction Act:
Of the unobligated balances of amounts appropriated or otherwise made available for activities of the Internal Revenue Service by paragraphs (1)(A)(ii), (1)(A)(iii), (1)(B), (2), (3), (4), and (5) of section 10301 of Public Law 117–169 (commonly known as ‘‘Inflation Reduction Act of 2022’’) as of the date of the enactment of this Act, $1,389,525,000 are hereby rescinded.
It also repurposes “another $20 billion from the $80 billion” the IRS got in that bill.
The debt bill also changes the requirements one must meet to receive government benefits:
The bill imposes new work requirements for food stamps on adults ages 50 to 54 who don’t have children living in their home. Under current law, those work requirements only apply to people age 18 to 49. The age limit will be phased in over three years, beginning in fiscal year 2023. And it includes a technical change to the T.A.N.F. funding formula that could cause some states to divert dollars from the program.
The bill would also exempt veterans, the homeless and people who were children in foster care from food-stamp work requirements — a move White House officials say will offset the program’s new requirements, and leave roughly the same number of Americans eligible for nutrition assistance moving forward.
Sen. Joe Manchin got a win with permit reforms because the bill “has new measures to get energy projects approved more quickly by creating a lead agency to oversee reviews and require that they are completed in one to two years.”
(a) IN GENERAL.—Sixty days after June 30, 2023, the waivers and modifications described in subsection (c) shall cease to be effective.
(b) PROHIBITION.—Except as expressly authorized by an Act of Congress enacted after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Education may not use any authority to implement an extension of any executive action or rule specified in subsection (c).
(c) WAIVERS AND MODIFICATIONS DESCRIBED.— The waivers and modifications described in this subsection are the waivers and modifications of statutory and regulatory provisions relating to an extension of the suspension of payments on certain loans and waivers of interest on such loans under section 3513 of the CARES Act (20 U.S.C. 1001 note)—
(1) described by the Department of Education in the Federal Register on October 12, 2022 (87 Fed. Reg. 61513 et seq.); and
(2) most recently extended in the announce12 ment by the Department of Education on November 13 22, 2022.
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