House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries told his caucus in a letter Sunday that President Joe Biden and Speaker Kevin McCarthy will speak this afternoon to complete the debt ceiling agreement, and then the legislative bill will be released by Republicans.
Negotiators struck an agreement in principle Saturday night to extend the debt ceiling and avert a catastrophic default. The legislative text of the bill will be prepared by Republicans and reviewed by the Biden administration before it is finalized, Jeffries, D-N.Y., said in the letter to Democrats.
Biden and McCarthy, R-Calif., are expected to speak no later than 2 p.m., and “shortly thereafter the legislative bill text will be released by House Republicans and made available to the House, Senate and American people,” Jeffries said, adding that top members of the Biden administration are also set to brief the House Democratic Caucus on the deal at 5 p.m.
During a press conference on Sunday morning, McCarthy said the legislative text of the bill will be “about 150 pages or less.”
“Not only will the members be able to read it, the public will be able to see it as well,” he said. “I wanted to make sure that the members got actually got the information about the bill before it’s read to all of you.”
McCarthy added that he’s held a call with his conference and over 95% of the members were “overwhelmingly excited” about the tentative deal.
“It is my expectation that over the next several days, there will be multiple opportunities to review and discuss the legislation with the Biden administration in advance of any midweek vote scheduled by House Republicans,” Jeffries wrote.
The tentative agreement, which is expected to raise the country’s borrowing authority in exchange for cuts to spending, was struck after weeks of negotiations led by Biden and McCarthy. Once the legislative language is finalized, it will have to pass both the GOP-led House and Democratic-controlled Senate.
A source familiar with the agreement told NBC News it includes a two-year appropriations deal and a two-year debt limit extension, effectively resolving the issue until after the 2024 election. It’ll include work requirements for receiving federal aid under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, for Americans up to 54 years old, with exceptions for homeless people and veterans. But there will be “no changes to Medicaid,” the source said.
Asked whether he’s had conversations with Senate leaders, McCarthy said during his press conference Sunday that he has yet to talk to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y, but he spoke with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. Saturday night to “walk him through” the deal.
McCarthy said he plans to speak with Senate Republicans about the agreement in a conference call later Sunday.
The House Republican Conference began circulating a fact sheet of the deal on Saturday night to its members and their offices, calling the agreement “The Fiscal Responsibility Act.”
“Republicans will restore fiscal sanity and hold Washington accountable,” the memo reads.
Katherine Doyle contributed.