Democrats Score Big Wins In Negotiation With Kevin McCarthy

Negotiations between President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy over the debt ceiling are seemingly completed, and now all that’s left to do is to rally the troops in the lower chamber as well as the Senate to get the bill passed.

In the immediate aftermath of the details of the negotiated settlement being announced, progressive Democrats seem to be celebrating some small victories they were able to achieve in the tentative deal that was struck over the weekend.

Many news outlets reported that hundreds of billions of dollars in spending for clean energy initiatives that were part of the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act remained in the agreement struck between McCarthy and Biden. While the exact details aren’t known just yet, this would represent a mini-victory of sorts for progressive Democrats who have been pushing a green agenda.

In addition, another potential win for these Democrats is that McCarthy apparently promised to Biden that he would look at ways that Congress could speed up some energy projects. He additionally pledged that he would work on a continuous basis with Democrats in the House and the White House on the issue, “because we need energy – all forms of energy, especially for our grid.”

E&E News has reported that the debt ceiling deal includes a new lead agency that will shepherd an environmental review of energy projects. It also includes some language that would address storage for developments of renewable energy.

Further, Democrats have said that Biden didn’t give in to calls by Republicans to require judicial reviews for all energy projects. 

In advance of the debt ceiling talks, Republicans in the House passed a budget bill known as the Limit, Save, Grow Act. That served as the foundation for the requests they made to cuts in spending as part of the negotiations with the White House, where they would agree to raise the debt ceiling so the U.S. wouldn’t default.

The bill, according to the House GOP, would save up to $5 trillion over the next 10 years by repealing some of the tax breaks that were given to green energy initiatives as part of the Inflation Reduction Act. 

Republican Representative Chip Roy of Texas recently penned an opinion piece for the Washington Examiner, in which he wrote:

“While Democrats are fighting for wealthy, corporate elites, Republicans are fighting for reliable energy and middle-class Americans by repealing tax breaks for unreliable ‘green’ energy.

“The Energy Information Administration estimates the Inflation Reduction Act could make wind and solar account for 60% of electricity generation by 2050, killing reliable energy in the process. Our grid is unreliable as is, and wind and solar only made up 12% of it in 2021. To chain ourselves to ‘renewables’ would be a death sentence for energy affordability.”

Still, it seems as if both sides are not going to be happy with at least part of the outcome of the debt ceiling negotiations. It’s possible that Congress could begin voting on the negotiated deal on Wednesday of this week.