6 pillars of the debt ceiling agreement

6 pillars of the debt ceiling agreement scaled | ltc-a

Here are the six major pieces of the deal, according to people with direct knowledge of the deal:

Job requirements

The deal would tighten restrictions on the SNAP food assistance program, as well as emergency cash relief known as Temporary Assistance for Families in Need.

New time limits would be phased in for childless people up to age 54 to receive food assistance through SNAP if they don’t complete certain job requirements. According to current legislation, these terms only apply to people up to 49 years of age. These extended limits will disappear in 2030.

Democrats won some exemptions for homeless people and veterans. But the move will still infuriate a large swath of Democrats in Congress, especially key progressives who in recent days have pleaded with White House officials to withhold any concessions for aid programs.

Republicans also pushed to include new job requirements on Medicaid, but the White House was quick to make clear it would not negotiate any changes to that program.

Energy permitting

The deal also doesn’t appear to offer much progress on a policy issue where both Democrats and Republicans had hoped to agree: speeding up the process of issuing federal permits for energy projects.

GOP lawmakers flanked by the Democratic Senator. Joe Manchin of West Virginia he had sought faster approvals for oil and gas pipelines and other fossil fuel projects. Meanwhile, many Democrats want to speed up the process of approving clean energy infrastructure, including power lines that would be needed to carry large amounts of wind and solar power across the country to meet Biden’s climate goals.

Ultimately, the timeline to avoid a national debt default appeared to be too tight for the parties to wrap up a big deal on the permits, an issue some lawmakers still hope Congress can address this year.

Instead, the deal produced only minimal changes to the current permitting process, according to a person familiar with the arrangements, who spoke on condition of anonymity late Saturday evening. The agreement includes adding « process efficiencies » to the decade-long law governing federal environmental reviews of projects and requires only one lead federal agency to be designated to review a particular permit.

But in a major victory for Democrats, the deal keeps intact the hundreds of billions in clean energy funding in Democrat-branded climate legislation, the Inflation Reduction Act, that Republicans had sought to repeal.

Covid aid recovery

The deal would take back billions of dollars in unspent Covid relief funds that Congress has distributed since 2020, impacting a wide range of current and future health care efforts. Democrats recently warned of this the cuts would hit vulnerable populations especially hardincluding veterans and tribal members, and reduce efforts to prepare for future pandemics.

Federal health officials are sounding the alarm about the impact the cuts could have on the work of state and local health departments on HIV, other STDs and new viral outbreaks, such as mpox.

Democrats also stressed that the cuts would delay replenishment of the strategic national supply, increasing the possibility, in the event of a new pandemic, of a repeat of the early days of Covid when masks, tampons, ventilators, medications and other crucial supplies had to be rationed. But the White House says the deal would protect critical funding to prepare for future pandemics and waves of Covid.

The IRS cuts

Some of the $80 billion in funding Democrats pushed for the IRS last year would be recouped. That amount of money should help the agency boost its ability to prosecute wealthy tax evaders, modernize its IT systems and improve customer service.

Republicans have been tearful against the funding for months, saying it would be used primarily to go after average taxpayers, despite a vote by the Biden administration not to raise the usual audit rates for those earning less than $400,000.

While the administration has fought to freeze the money, the cut is expected to be relatively small compared to what the GOP had been pushing all year. House Republicans used their first vote after taking control of the house this year to call for the withdrawal of more than $70 billion in funding, leaving some money intact for improving taxpayer service.

The debt limit deal probably won’t please either side, though Republican lawmakers have more reason to be unhappy than Democrats since the funding isn’t eliminated.

Spending limits

For Republicans, the two-year budget deal is a far cry from the $130 billion spending cuts the party initially sought for the next fiscal year, and it fails to cap spending for a decade as many US lawmakers wanted. GOP extension.

Instead, it would keep non-defense funding broadly unchanged for the fiscal year beginning in October, at about $637 billion. Defense funding would be limited to Biden’s budget request, at $886 billion, an increase of about 3.5%. Veterans medical care would also match the president’s request, at $121 billion in fiscal 2024.

Non-defense spending would rise 1% in 2025, followed by years of non-enforceable funding targets. Congress would need to pass all 12 annual funding bills by the end of January or face an interim funding patch that cuts spending by 1% across the board.

The deal is a far less favorable outcome for Democrats than the two-year budget deal cemented in 2019 by then-President Donald Trump and then-spokesman Nancy Pelosi. In a victory for House Democrats at the time, both sides agreed to provide a larger funding increase for national programs than for the military.

Student loans

Conservatives had been trying to use the debt ceiling to force the White House to back out of Biden’s plan to cancel up to $20,000 in student debt for tens of millions of Americans. The deal reached on Saturday would leave that schedule unchanged, according to a person close to the talks.

But the deal codifies into law the Biden administration’s plan to end the ongoing freeze on monthly student loan payments and interest in late summer, according to a source familiar with the negotiations. The Department of Education had previously prepared to restart payments after the start of September.

GOP lawmakers lobbied the administration to resume collecting student loan payments, blowing the cost of an estimated $5 billion each month to keep nearly all federal student loans on hold.

The debt ceiling bill passed by Republicans last month would have permanently reduced the Department of Education’s authority to freeze student payments. But the deal wouldn’t go that far, protecting the agency’s ability to withhold payments in case of future emergencies, according to a person familiar with the negotiations, who also said the administration’s plan to expand the reimbursement based income tax would be protected.

Even though the White House avoided any reductions in its student debt in the deal, the future of the program remains uncertain. The Supreme Court is preparing to decide in the coming weeks whether to allow Biden to go ahead with debt relief.

Michael Stratford, Toby Eckert and Alice Miranda Ollstein contributed to the reporting.