Roundtable Weekly
Looming Debt Limit Expiration Dominates Congressional Agenda
April 22, 2023
U.S. Capitol at dusk

House Republicans this week proposed the Limit, Save, Grow Act to cut federal spending and spur negotiations to raise the nation’s $31.4 trillion debt ceiling for approximately one year. President Joe Biden and Senate Democrats oppose the bill and propose lifting the debt ceiling without conditions. (The Hill, April 19 and Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, April 20) 

X Date Approaches 

  • House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) stated he aims to schedule a vote next week on the bill and begin negotiations with Democrats over raising the debt limit. McCarthy needs approval from 218 House members to pass the legislation, meaning he can only afford to lose four votes from his conference to pass it without Democratic support. (NBC News, April 19 and CBS News, April 18)
  • On Wednesday, the Problem Solvers Caucus—comprised of 32 moderate Democrats and 31 Republicans in the House—proposed their own plan to raise the debt ceiling. (Caucus news release and Axios, April 19)
  • The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated that Treasury will run out of money sometime between July and September, a point referred to as the “X date” (CBO analysis, Feb. | ABC News, April 15)
  • Mark Zandi, the chief economist at Moody's Analytics testified last month before Congress that if no resolution is reached before mid-August, “a default would be a catastrophic blow to the already-fragile economy.” (Zandi’s written testimony, March 7) 

Congressional Hearings 

  • A House Ways and Means Committee hearing on Wednesday focused on the Limit, Save, Grow Act’s proposal to strike the package of clean energy tax incentives that Democrats passed last year in their signature climate law, the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). (Roundtable Weekly, Aug. 12, 2022) 
  • The Republicans’ proposed repeal is unlikely to pass the Senate’s Democratic majority and President Biden has stated he would veto if it ever reached his desk. A Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) report summarized the IRA’s incentives—and The Roundtable has prepared fact sheets on the credits and deductions relevant to CRE.
  • The day before the hearing, Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ), Ranking Member of the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight, introduced the Ending Wall Street Tax Giveaway Act, which would eliminate the current tax treatment of carried interest. (Pascrell news release, April 18)
  • On Tuesday, a House Financial Services Committee hearing on “Oversight of the Securities and Exchange Commission” featured testimony from SEC Chairman Gary Gensler, above. A final SEC rule on climate reporting, which derives from a proposal for sweeping disclosures on Scope 3 GHG emissions, is anticipated this spring. (Roundtable Weekly, March 25, 2022 and Roundtable Comments on the SEC Proposal, June 10, 2022)
  • Gensler testified that the agency is not interested in capturing emissions from all sources and small businesses in a reporting company’s Scope 3 “value chain.” He stated, “We only oversee seven or eight thousand public companies … It is not a rule about the rest.” 

The importance of the nation’s supply chains to the economy was also addressed when Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo testified before a House appropriations panel this week on the department's 2024 budget. Secretary Raimondo will discuss national economic conditions during The Roundtable’s Spring Meeting next week in Washington. (Roundtable-level members only

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