SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Over Memorial Day weekend, a deal was reached between President Biden and Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) to avoid a government default and to raise the debt ceiling for two years with new caps on federal spending.
Utah Senators Mitt Romney and Mike Lee offered differing opinions on the deal.
The deal passed on Saturday includes provisions to fund medical care for veterans, change work requirements under some government aid programs, and would reign back on unspent relief funds related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sen. Romney supported the deal saying it was good for the country by avoiding default and financial meltdown while addressing some conservative priorities.
“In addition, House leadership successfully fought for conservative priorities like work requirements for [Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)] and [the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)], and reduced permitting review timelines,” Romney said in a statement released through social media. “While I would have preferred to see an agreement that also addressed entitlements, this represents a good-faith bipartisan compromise, and I’m hopeful the House and Senate will pass it into law in the coming days.”
Meanwhile, Sen. Lee took to Twitter to voice his dissent for the deal, alongside many other Republican leaders.
Lee retweeted Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy saying he would vote against the debt ceiling deal if he were president. Lee also thanked another presidential candidate, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for “speaking up” about the deal. In an interview with Fox News, DeSantis said prior to the deal, the country was careening toward bankruptcy and would still be careening toward bankruptcy after the deal.
Since the deal, Lee has also supported Texas Rep. Chip Roy (R), who has been publically vocal about his disapproval of the deal, through a series of retweets. Roy has openly criticized the deal on Twitter as well as claiming the country is “barreling towards unlimited debt” during a Fox News interview, to which Lee tweeted “Chip Roy is 100% right.”
The bill is expected to be voted on by the House of Representatives on Wednesday. If passed, it will then go to the Senate for a vote where lawmakers will hope to avert a default by next Monday, according to the Associated Press.
Despite skepticism of the deal from both sides of the political aisle, President Biden told reporters on Monday that he “felt good” about where things stood.