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The Spokesman-Review: House passes compromise deal to raise debt limit, despite opposition from Northwest lawmakers in both parties

Orion Donovan Smith, The Spokesman-Review

The House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a bill to raise the nation’s borrowing limit and end the threat of economic disaster – which the House’s Republican majority used to extract concessions from Democrats to limit federal spending – despite Northwest lawmakers from both parties opposing the compromise.

The legislation, which passed by a vote of 314-117, raises the debt ceiling through the end of 2024, caps some kinds of future spending and rescinds unspent pandemic relief funds and part of the money Democrats approved last year to modernize the Internal Revenue Service. It also streamlines the permitting process for energy projects, ends the pause on student loan repayments and expands work requirements for some federal benefits.

The bill now goes to the Democratic-majority Senate, whose leaders aim to pass it before Monday, when the government would run out of money to pay all its bills without borrowing more. Both parties have contributed to the $31.4 trillion national debt, which has grown rapidly in recent years as Democrats and Republicans alike have chosen to borrow money to finance their priorities.

“This is the largest deficit reduction bill in the history of the United States,” Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Spokane, one of 149 Republicans who voted for the bill, said in a statement. “It will provide long overdue relief to families in Eastern Washington getting crushed under inflation by saving them $2.1 trillion and slashing Democrats’ out-of-control spending.”

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