The House and Senate passed the bipartisan debt deal, which was set in motion by President Joe Biden and Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) over the Memorial Day holiday weekend. The agreement would raise the debt ceiling until January 1, 2025 and establishes top-line discretionary spending levels for fiscal years (FY) 24 and 25. The deal would provide $637 billion for non-defense discretionary (NDD) spending and $886 billion for defense spending in FY 24. This would reportedly freeze NDD spending at $1 billion below the current FY 23 level. For FY 25, the agreement would increase overall spending limits for NDD and defense programs by 1 percent.
Other noteworthy provisions include a claw back of approximately $30 billion in unspent Covid relief funds, impacting current and future public health programs. Federal health officials have vocalized the devastating impact cuts will likely have on state and local health departments. According to Politico, “the White House claims the deal would protect critical funding to prepare for future pandemics and Covid surges.”
The budget agreement keeps in place the President’s student debt relief plan but codifies an end to the student loan pandemic repayment pause. The agreement would also tighten work requirements for the SNAP food assistance and TANF programs while leaving Medicaid untouched.
The measure now heads to President Joe Biden’s desk, where it is expected to be signed days before the default deadline.