Did Joe Biden or Kevin McCarthy cave in debt ceiling negotiations? Congress sounds off

Members of Congress were split on whether President Biden or House Speaker Kevin McCarthy caved during the debt ceiling negotiations.

“Well some of my colleagues are saying it’s a cave for Kevin McCarthy but in actuality, it is a cave for Joe Biden,” Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene told Fox News. “Joe Biden’s losing because his polling numbers are so bad. He had to cave.” 

But Rep. Jared Moskowitz thinks both sides made sacrifices.

“The fact that the left and the right both hate it tells me it’s probably a pretty good bill,” the Democrat said. 

The Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023 passed the House of Representatives late Wednesday evening after high-tension negotiations between McCarthy and Biden over raising the national debt ceiling. The bill passed in a 314-117 vote that saw majorities in both parties support the agreement, but some lawmakers on the left and right were not happy with the final legislation


“You’ve got Republican members on basically every network saying how they don’t like the deal,” Florida Rep. Byron Donalds told Fox News. “It just keeps all the Democrat priorities in place.”

Rep. Ben Cline echoed his fellow Republican’s sentiments.

“The [original] bill was a strong conservative bill,” he told Fox News. “It is not a strong conservative bill anymore.”

Both Cline and Donalds voted against the bill. Still, some Republicans saw the legislation as a victory for the GOP. 

“Joe Biden didn’t even want to negotiate for 100 days,” Rep. Mike Flood said. “This has been a successful endeavor for Republicans.”


New York Rep. Marcus Molinaro said: “There’s a number of wins for Americans today.”

“We’re going to confront the fact that this federal government doesn’t often respect its taxpayers,” the Republican continued. “We’re going to be sure that America makes good on its debts.”

The bill cuts billions from the IRS expansion fund, claws back some unused COVID-19 pandemic funds, cuts non-defense spending close to the 2022 fiscal levels and suspends the debt limit with no cap until 2025. McCarthy touted the bill as “the largest savings in American history” yesterday. 

Some Democrats said they were happy to come to a compromise.

“I don’t like everything in the bill, but again, it’s a yes or no vote,” Rep. Ed Case said. “I’m happy that we got to the result.”

Rep. Adam Smith called the bill a “compromise for both” the president and the speaker. 

“They negotiated and they reached a reasonable outcome for all parties involved, which is what you’re supposed to do,” he continued. 

To watch the lawmakers’ full interviews, click here

Ramiro Vargas contributed to the accompanying video and Elizabeth Elkind contributed to this report.

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