The latest news on the debt ceiling bill

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Reps. Matt Gaetz and Tim Burchett are seen outside a House Republican Conference meeting in the Capitol on Tuesday, January 10, 2023. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call/Getty Images)

A Republican leadership aide tells CNN this morning that while leadership’s 11th-hour changes to the debt ceiling bill were made in consultation with key constituencies like Midwestern Republicans last night, members of the Whip team are still checking votes to ensure that they will be there this afternoon. 

The source told CNN that there is more checking to do, but things are “moving in the right direction.”

CNN’s Hill team is checking in with members this morning. Here’s what some of them have to say:

Rep. Matt Gaetz: A GOP holdout, Gaetz, says he is still reviewing the changes but is not happy about last-minute tweaks made in the middle of the night, despite the fact they were made in part to appease him.

“Last-minute changes are no way to run a railroad,” he told reporters.

Rep. Nancy Mace: Mace, another GOP holdout, says she’s still reviewing the last-minute changes but wants to hear more in conference and has also been in touch with leadership this morning.

Rep. Tim Burchett: Burchett told CNN on Wednesday he still plans to oppose House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s debt limit bill. “Still no,” Burchett said as he entered House Republicans’ conference meeting.

Burchett added he “had a meeting scheduled yesterday [with leadership] and they didn’t show up, so I’m no.”

The Tennessee Republican said the snub isn’t the reason he’s still planning to vote against the bill, but said, “I just don’t like being taken for granted. And, you know, because it made me look bad.” 

He told reporters he waited 33 minutes for members to show up.

As for his main sticking point, Burchett said, “I still just think $32 trillion in debt. This country needs to come to a realization that we have a debt spending problem. And we’re not going to get there this way.”

Rep. Derrick Van Orden: The Wisconsin congressman, who had attempted to offer an amendment to the debt limit plan to protect ethanol tax breaks during last night’s marathon rules committee hearing, praised McCarthy for the last-minute changes to appease him and other Midwestern Republicans.  

“Kevin McCarthy, with the rest of the leadership team, removing some provisions that affect biofuels shows leadership,” he said. “He’s the speaker and I’m very proud of that.” 

When Van Orden wasn’t able to offer his amendment last night, it set off a long committee recess that ended with a deal for the manager’s amendment to include his provision and others important to hold outs, including increasing work requirements for some government benefits to 30 hours per week. 

Rep. Chip Roy: Roy, who serves on the House Rules Committee and has long been pushing for an open amendment process for bills, defended leadership going back on its word to make last-minute changes to the debt ceiling bill.

“It’s the process, you know, working and everybody talking it through. And by the way, the changes were pretty small,” he said.

Asked if there are 218 votes for the bill this morning as he was walking into conference, Roy said “that’s part of what this meeting is about.”

Rep. Zach Nunn: Members of the Iowa delegation signaled support for the debt ceiling bill. Nunn said the changes that leadership made last night on the biofuel tax credits were “huge” and marked a major sea change from where they’d been 24 hours prior when they’d insisted on not changing the bill. 


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