The White House’s Secret Message To Democrats Suggests Who Actually Won The Debt Ceiling Negotiation

The White House has sent a message to Democrats that President Joe Biden won the debt ceiling talks by excluding most Republican demands from the agreement.

Politico reported that White House officials were selling the agreement as one where Biden had successfully resisted the “extreme” demands of Republicans, and in which Democrats could continue to advance their policy goals.

The White House celebrates that the major social safety programs — Social Security (which does not reduce inflation), Medicaid and Medicare — as well as Biden’s legislative accomplishments, such the Inflation Reduction Act, which doesn’t actually lower inflation, and the CHIPS Act, among other things, “are all being preserved and funded.”

Officials at the White House argue that spending figures favor Democrats in the end, even though [House Speaker Kevin] McCarthy can take a victory lap and talk about spending reductions. The reforms in permitting advance their climate agenda.
That’s right. Politico reports that the agreement allows McCarthy to publicly declare his victory. The real winners, however, are the Democrats.

Biden’s comments after the announcement of the deal are in line with the reporting. Biden replied, “They will find out I didn’t.”

What did Republicans achieve in the last four years?

What concessions did House Speaker Kevin McCarthy receive from Democrats if the White House believes that Democrats ultimately won negotiations?

Republicans agreed to increase the debt ceiling as a trade-off for a cap on government spending until January 2025, while negotiating requirements for SNAP/TANF. The agreement allows some defense spending to be increased and also claws back money that was earmarked for IRS expansions last year.

It is not surprising to see the White House engage in political spin. The criticism of conservative Republicans lends credibility to the messaging from Biden’s camp.

What comes next?
The House will take the first step. The bill will go to the Senate if and when it is passed, despite the holdouts from both sides.

It is likely that the agreement will take several days to be approved by the Senate. Chuck Schumer, the Senate Majority leader, has warned members to prepare for weekend voting. The agreement will then be sent to Biden for his signature once it has been approved by the Senate.

It is likely that the entire process will be completed before June 5.