Tenney, Stefanik vote yes on debt ceiling deal

Published: Jun. 1, 2023 at 3:58 PM EDT
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WWNY) - The women who represent the north country in Congress both voted yes on legislation to suspend the debt ceiling and limit spending.

Republicans Claudia Tenney and Elise Stefanik were among the 314 lawmakers in the House of Representatives to vote in favor of the Fiscal Responsibility Act; 117 members voted against it.

Overall, the 99-page bill would make some progress in curbing the nation’s annual budget deficits as Republicans demanded, without rolling back Trump-era tax breaks as Biden had wanted.

The compromise package restricts spending for the next two years, suspends the debt ceiling into January 2025, and changes some policies, including imposing new work requirements for older Americans receiving food aid and greenlighting an Appalachian natural gas line that many Democrats oppose.

It bolsters funds for defense and veterans and cuts back new money for Internal Revenue Service agents.

“It will deliver billions in immediate savings and takes concrete steps to reduce our spending and hold Joe Biden accountable. It is an important part of restoring fiscal responsibility and accountability in Washington,” said Tenney (R. - 24th District).

“The Fiscal Responsibility Act will be the largest deficit reduction in history. It will restore fiscal sanity, and it will hold Washington accountable,” said Stefanik (R. - 21st District).

The U.S. Senate is now considering the debt ceiling and budget cuts package, aiming to send it to President Joe Biden’s desk to become law to avert an unprecedented U.S. default on its debts.

Raising the nation’s debt limit, now $31.4 trillion, ensures Treasury can borrow to pay already incurred U.S. debts.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said the spending restrictions in the package would reduce deficits by $1.5 trillion over the decade.

In a surprise that complicated Republicans’ support, however, the CBO said their drive to impose work requirements on older Americans receiving food stamps would end up boosting spending by $2.1 billion over the time period. That’s because the final deal exempts veterans and homeless people, expanding the food stamp rolls by 78,000 people monthly, the CBO said.