White House, Congressional Republicans Reach Debt Ceiling Agreement


The following update is provided by the National Association of Counties (NACo):

Over the weekend, the White House and House Republicans reached an agreement to address the debt limit and cap spending. The bill, titled the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023 (FRA), would suspend the national debt ceiling through January 1, 2025, effectively increasing the amount of money that the federal government can borrow to fund federal programs. The agreement comes less than a week ahead of an impending federal debt default on June 5, a deadline after which the federal government would no longer have the capacity to pay its debts.

KEY ITEMS TO NOTE: The Fiscal Responsibility Act DOES NOT rescind ARPA State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (SLFRF) dollars, including the $65.1 billion provided directly to counties. Additionally, the legislation DOES NOT rescind ARPA Local Assistance and Tribal Consistency Fun (LATCF) dollars.

Other noteworthy items include:

  • Includes permitting reform legislation, H.R. 1577, the Building United States Infrastructure through Limited Delays and Efficient Reviews (BUILDER) Act, which NACo endorsed
  • Caps non-defense discretionary spending for Fiscal Year (FY) 2024 at roughly $637 billion, followed by a 1 percent increase in discretionary spending in FY 2025
  • Imposes new administrative requirements and eligibility restrictions to federal food assistance and cash benefit programs
  • Permitting reform for federally-funded energy projects, including shortened timelines for environmental impact assessments and statements
  • Cuts to Internal Revenue Service (IRS) budget increases secured in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA)
  • Reinstates federal student loan payments

Congressional leadership must now navigate slim majorities in the U.S. House and U.S. Senate to secure successful passage of the legislative proposal. Pending passage through the U.S. House Rules Committee, the bill will face a vote on the House floor later this week, where it must pass with a simple majority of 218 votes. If successfully passed through the House, the bill will be sent to the Senate, where it must overcome a 60-vote threshold.