Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) is set to cast her vote against the debt limit bill on Wednesday, as the Treasury Department’s impending June 5 deadline for potential default looms closer, according to her office.
Ocasio-Cortez, a prominent progressive figure in Congress, had previously indicated her opposition to the legislation.
“My red line has already been crossed,” stated Ocasio-Cortez earlier this month. “I mean, where do we begin? No clean debt ceiling, work requirements, cuts to programs. I would never, I would never vote for that.”
Other progressives, along with lawmakers from the opposing side, have also expressed concerns about the bill. This raises doubts about whether Congress will be able to pass it in time.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and President Biden announced a tentative agreement on a debt ceiling deal on Saturday, following weeks of challenging negotiations between the two parties. McCarthy subsequently released the bill’s text the next day.
Despite the agreement, some House Republicans, including Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.), Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas.), and Rep. Wesley Hunt (R-Texas.), have stated their intentions to vote against the debt ceiling bill.
Nevertheless, the legislation achieved a significant milestone on Tuesday night when the House Rules Committee approved it with a 7-6 vote, with Roy and Rep. Ralph Norman (R-S.C.) joining Democrats in opposing it.
While this marks a crucial victory for proponents of the bill, its fate remains uncertain, as both parties strive to rally their members ahead of a floor debate scheduled for Wednesday.
The number of progressive House members who will vote against the bill is yet to be determined, although Ocasio-Cortez’s comments increase the pressure on House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.).
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has stressed that the U.S. must raise the debt ceiling by June 5 to avert a default, which economists warn could have severe consequences for the economy.