UnidosUS: Congress Must Pass Bipartisan Deal to Raise Debt Ceiling

Debt Deal Includes Harmful Provisions, but is a Necessary Compromise to Prevent Catastrophic Damage of Default

Washington, DC — Janet Murguía, President and CEO of UnidosUS—the nation’s largest Latino civil rights and advocacy organization—today issued a statement on the upcoming vote in the House of Representatives to suspend the nation’s debt ceiling through January 1, 2025. 

“We commend the efforts of President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy to reach a bipartisan debt ceiling agreement that is a notable improvement over the partisan House Republican package (H.R. 2811) passed in late April. While far from perfect, the bipartisan ‘Fiscal Responsibility Act’ will prevent what would be a catastrophic default directly impacting Latinos and our country. Our community wants our leaders, regardless of party affiliation, to work to find common ground and advance solutions for the good of the nation. This is what happened, and the legislation pending before the House for a vote today is much the better for it. 

“We condemn extremists in Congress who pushed the U.S. to the brink of economic catastrophe to secure measures that will harm families and make it harder to invest in children. And while lifting the debt limit is a victory for Americans and our economy, it comes at great cost to those who will be impacted by measures such as onerous and unnecessary ‘work requirements.’ 

“The agreement would essentially freeze domestic spending for two years, which amounts to a cut to critical domestic programs given inflation. The deal also would impose additional paperwork requirements disguised as ‘work requirements’ on older Americans who receive assistance from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and stiffen work requirements for those who receive aid from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. These requirements are unnecessary red tape that do little to help people get jobs, and are more often pretexts for eliminating benefits to those who desperately need them. 

“While the bill does leave President Biden’s student debt relief intact, it does end the pause on student loan repayments, which affects millions of Americans who have taken out federal student loans to pay for college. 

“These harmful cuts are a direct result of House Republicans’ shameful demand that the poor and hungry of our nation pay the bills that Congress has authorized. Thankfully, President Biden fought to limit the cuts to two years and the Speaker agreed. This prevented far worse cuts to other safety net programs like Medicare and Medicaid, and avoided the real possibility of default. We call on Congress to enact this bipartisan compromise as soon as possible to prevent economic calamity.”