Thompson votes to support debt limit deal legislation
By JOSH COTTON
Congressman Glenn Thompson (R-15) has lent his support to a bill that raises the nation’s debt ceiling and is aimed at ensuring the U.S. doesn’t default on that debt in the coming days.
The House on Wednesday approved the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023 241-187. It was a bipartisan effort as 29 Republicans opposed the measure while 52 Democrats cast votes in support.
Thompson was one of 189 Republicans to support the bill.
The Senate was debating the bill throughout the day on Thursday. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has said that June 5 marks the deadline for avoiding a default which could have wide-ranging economic consequences.
One of the sticking points in recent negotiations over raising the debt ceiling has been enhanced work requirements for federal programs including SNAP food benefit and TANF, or cash assistance, funding,
According to the Congressional Budget Office, those provisions would increase funding by $2.1 billion over the next 20 years for those programs.
Currently, per the CBO, states have the latitude to waive work requirements for some people to still receive SNAP benefits. Currently the minimum requirement is 80 hours a month for able-bodied adults under 50.
This legislation would move the age up to 54 in the following years and reduce the exemptions that states can provide.
“Quite frankly, CBO got their numbers wrong,” Thompson said in a May 30 press conference with Republican House leaders.
SNAP benefits fall under the Department of Agriculture and Thompson is the chair of the House Committee on Agriculture.
“They scored this as a $2 billion cost which is completely false,” he explained, noting that some groups are double counted in the estimate.
Thompson said that SNAP employment programs and well as career and technical education “really provides folks a pathway to prosperity and out of poverty… and give people an opportunity to achieve what we all aspire to be — United States taxpayers.”
He said the return on investment would be individuals going from “dependency on the government… to realize the American dream which is dignity through work.”
Reducing state exemptions, Thompson added, will result in a “huge savings” and “doesn’t impede helping people that are truly in need. (It’s) just the efficiency. It’s good government.”
According to the Congressional Budget Office analysis, this bill will reduce federal spending by $1.5 trillion over the next 10 years.
The current national debt is over $31 trillion.