U.S. senator Elizabeth Warren and Progressive Democrats weigh consequences of debt ceiling deal

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Elizabeth Warren

1st June 2023 – (Washington) Senior United States senator  Elizabeth Warren and other progressive Democrats are grappling with the decision to either vote for or against the deal to raise the debt ceiling. While Warren acknowledges that default would be worse, she is critical of the spending constraints and the Republican’s desire to protect billionaire tax cheats. Progressives are facing a difficult choice of either voting against raising the debt ceiling or accepting some spending constraints to avoid default.

Even some liberal Democrats who plan to vote against the bill acknowledge that default would be worse. With a Democratic president in office, the opposition on the left is relatively low-key, reflecting a subdued mood among progressives. Many liberal Democrats realise that in a divided government, big ideas of 2021 and 2022 are no longer achievable, and they must protect the legislative achievements they have already passed.

The debt deal has not inspired a liberal revolt ahead of the 2024 presidential election, which is a victory for Biden and reflects the careful relationship he has built with progressives since the 2020 primary. The debt agreement passed the House with more Democrats supporting it than Republicans.

While the deal restricts non-defence spending, greenlights a fossil fuel project, ends the pause on student loan payments, and imposes work requirements on some people receiving SNAP benefits, many on the left could still vote for it, and it would succeed. Biden’s partnership with progressive lawmakers has continued while he’s been in office, with Biden seeking to pass party-line legislation like$1.9 trillion in Covid aid and Democrats’ climate, healthcare, and tax law.