House Democrats sound off on White House's concessions in debt limit deal

May 30, 2023

House Democrats are sounding off over the concessions the White House made to Republicans in the debt limit deal. 

“I’m still undecided. I mean, I'm angry that we are being held hostage and we are continuing to be held hostage because we do not have a choice,” Rep. Debbie Dingell told CNN’s Manu Raju. “I think to a Democrat, none of us believe that we can default the debt ceiling.” 

Rep. Jared Huffman said, “As much as I believe from a budgetary perspective, Republicans really didn't accomplish much in this deal, we did make other concessions to them that are really tough to swallow,"

“I haven't yet decided how I'm going to vote, but I will tell you, I don't feel good about it,” he added.

Both were particularly concerned with the environmental policy changes, including measures in the National Environmental Policy Act.

Dingell’s late husband, Rep. John Dingell, was one of the authors of the law, which requires environmental review process for certain projects. The debt ceiling bill would streamline that process, causing concerns among many Democrats that it could harm the environment. 

“It is my husband’s legacy, and why I’m so angry. I mean, I also care about it, in my communities,” she said. 

Huffman called the move "mean," saying that "it's a step backward on climate and environmental policy. And I'm not thrilled about that.”

He also criticized Sen. Joe Manchin for pushing for the Mountain Valley Pipeline to be included in the deal. The agreement contains a surprising call to speed up the creation of the stalled natural gas pipeline.

“The Manchin piece is especially hard to swallow," he said. "This is the equivalent of building dozens of coal fired power plants at a time, when we really should be confronting the climate crisis in a more serious way.”

By:  Morgan Rimmer and Manu Raju
Source: CNN