Kevin McCarthy pledges bipartisan commission to examine budget cuts

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is proposing a bipartisan commission to outline future budget cuts in hopes of placating hardline conservatives opposed to his debt-limiting deal.

Mr. McCarthy, a Republican from California, said the commission would be formed after the deal is passed by Congress. It would include people named by himself and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, Democrat of New York.

“After today, I will create a commission to review the entire budget. This debt is too great,” the speaker said. “We can be very serious looking long term to solve this problem.”

The announcement comes as hardline members of the House Freedom Caucus are in revolt against the bipartisan debt limit Mr McCarthy struck with President Biden.

The deal would raise the debt limit by $31.4 trillion until after the 2024 presidential election, recover billions of unspent pandemic relief dollars and cut funding for the IRS.

Domestic expenditure would be stable for the coming year. Defense spending is expected to increase by more than $26 billion. After this year, federal spending growth would be capped at 1% through 2025.

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Mr. McCarthy and Mr. Biden further agreed to streamline the federal permitting process for new energy projects. The deal includes a pay-as-you-go provision requiring Mr. Biden to offset any rules or regulations that increase federal spending.

The agreement would expand work requirements for recipients of food stamps and direct cash payments. Able-bodied, childless recipients of each program aged 54 and under would need to work at least 20 hours a week to maintain their benefits. Work requirements would expire in 2030.

“We’ve made good policies here,” McCarthy said. “The demands of the job will change people’s lives.

The deal represents a compromise for Mr. McCarthy and Mr. Biden. House Republicans initially called for a $130 billion cut in non-military spending this year and a decade of spending caps.

Mr. McCarthy had sought to cancel Mr. Biden’s student loan forgiveness program and cancel more than $200 billion in green energy tax credits that Democrats passed last year. Both requests were dismissed in the face of opposition from the White House.

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Members of the Freedom Caucus say the deal amounts to betrayal by Mr McCarthy.

“Our base hasn’t volunteered, knocked on doors, and fought so hard to get a majority for this kind of compromise deal with Joe Biden,” Rep. Lauren said. Boebert, Colorado Republican. “Our constituents deserve better than this.”

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