Resources for Teachers and Students
FOR THE WEEK OF MAY 29, 2023
Check news reports to see how the debt and spending deal fares in Congress.
Find out what your Congress member and Senators say about the deal.
Find out how much the nation's debt has changed in your lifetime.
President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy reached a tentative deal over the weekend to suspend the nation’s debt limit through 2025 to avoid a federal default while limiting government spending. Now, they have to find enough members of the House and Senate to vote for the 99-page agreement before the U.S. Treasury runs out of money to pay its bills next Monday and sends the world’s economy into a tailspin.
Some conservative Republicans in Congress complain that the compromise does not cut future deficits enough, while some progressive Democrats say changes to work requirements in programs such as food stamps will punish poor people. Biden and McCarthy hope to find enough Republicans and Democratic lawmakers in the middle who are willing to compromise to avoid catastrophe.
Economists have warned that a government default would wipe out 1.5 million U.S. jobs in a week. If it lasted into the summer, they say 7.8 million jobs could be lost, interest rates on loans would soar, and a stock market plunge would wipe out $10 trillion in household wealth. The sudden economic collapse in the United States would trigger a severe recession across the globe.
Conservative Republican says: “No real cuts to see here. Conservatives have been sold out once again!” — Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky
Progressive Democrat says: “I told the president that … this is saying to poor people and people who are in need that we don’t trust them.” — Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Washington
Deal negotiator says: “This is the most conservative spending package in my service in Congress, and this is my 10th term,” – Rep. Patrick T. McHenry, R-North Carolina.
Lessons & Classroom Activities
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