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House passes debt-ceiling deal with support from two thirds of GOP caucus

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After hours of debate, the House voted Wednesday night to approve a bipartisan debt-ceiling deal, taking a step toward averting a default on U.S. debt. The measure passed with 314 members voting in favor and 117 members voting in opposition.  149 Republicans and 165 Democrats voted to approve the bill, while 71 Republicans and 46 Democrats voted against it.

National Review writes the measure’s passage secures “a victory for House speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), who managed to keep his caucus together despite a challenge from House Freedom Caucus members intent on securing greater spending concessions from the Biden White House.”

The bill will now head to the Senate. McCarthy said the measure is the “largest spending cut that Congress has ever voted for,” but faced opposition from members of his caucus who believe the deal “didn’t go far enough in restoring pre-Covid spending levels.”

In his speech on the House floor Wednesday before the vote, McCarthy pleaded with his colleagues to support what he had bargained for with Biden:

“They demanded a clean debt limit, which really means they spend more and you pay more in taxes. House Republicans said ‘no’,” McCarthy said.“Over the past four months, we fought hard to change how Washington works. We stopped the Democrats from writing a blank check after the largest spending binge in American history… The Fiscal Responsibility Act is the biggest spending cut in American history.”

National Review reports:

The agreement suspends the nation’s $31.4 trillion debt limit through January 1, 2025, and caps spending in the 2024 and 2025 budgets.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has estimated that the deal will reduce budget deficits by about $1.5 trillion between 2023 and 2033. Director of the CBO Phillip Swagel projected that there would be reductions in discretionary outlays of $1.3 trillion over the 2024–2033 period. Mandatory spending would decrease by $10 billion, revenues would decrease by $2 billion over the same period, and the interest on the public debt would decline by $188 billion.

Biden warned of the consequences of default, saying what would follow would include an economic recession, devastated retirement accounts, and millions of jobs lost.

“I made clear from the start of negotiations that the only path forward was a bipartisan budget agreement,” explained Biden on Twitter. “No one got everything they wanted. But that’s the responsibility of governing.”

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Economy

CO leaders stating they won’t use any city money to support migrants or to alleviate the crisis in Denver

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In February 2018, Denver city leaders sent a valentine to foreigners interested in relocating to the progressive mountain city and a message to any elected officials looking to stop them:

Draped on Denver’s City and County building was a large, blue banner: “Denver ❤️ Immigrants.”

Then-mayor Michael Hancock event posted on social media that it was a statement of “love” to let immigrants know that Denver is “an open and welcoming city.” However, six years later, Denver residents are facing an uphill battle of repercussions from the liberal leaders’ actions. Amid a crisis that has seen more than 40,000 migrants arrive in the city since late 2022, Denver leaders have a new message: If you stay in Denver, you will suffer.

“The opportunities are over,” an official with new mayor Mike Johnston’s office told a gathering of migrants in Spanish inside a city shelter in late March, according to a video obtained by a local television station. “New York gives you more. Chicago gives you more.”

On Monday, Douglas County filed a lawsuit against the state of Colorado and its Democratic governor Jared Polis in Denver District Court over the issue.

The lawsuit is challenging the constitutionality of two state laws passed by Democrats in the Colorado legislature: a 2019 law that restricted the ability of local law enforcement to cooperate with federal immigration officials in civil cases, and a 2023 law that prohibits local governments from entering or renewing detention agreements with ICE and that prohibits them from funding immigration detention facilities owned or operated privately.

“The nation is facing an immigration crisis. The nation, the state, and local governments need to cooperate and share resources to address this crisis,” the lawsuit states, adding that the 2019 and 2023 laws in question “prohibit the necessary cooperation and create dangerous conditions for the State and migrants.”

Teal contends that “the state doesn’t have the inherent authority to limit the ability of a local jurisdiction to work with any agency, regardless be it local, state, or federal.” By doing so, he said, “the state is inhibiting the local communities, the local jurisdictions from providing for the safety” of their residents.

“We are seeing what is going on in Denver, and we do not want that coming here to Douglas County. It is not safe,” Douglas County commissioner Lora Thomas, a former state trooper, said during a Monday morning press conference announcing the lawsuit.

Douglas commissioner Abe Laydon said on Monday that the lawsuit “is about putting America first and about putting Coloradans first.” As a Latino, he said, he recognizes “the plight of those seeking refuge and asylum here in the United States,” but he added that “Douglas County is a place where quality of life comes first.”

National Review reports on the mile-high city’s crisis:

In January, the city was housing and feeding almost 5,000 migrants, mostly Venezuelans, in hotel shelters. Other migrants slept in tents on sidewalks and in parking lots, adding a new wrinkle to Denver’s ongoing struggles with panhandling and squalid homeless camps.

At intersections throughout Denver, migrants with water bottles and squeegees head into traffic to try to make a few bucks washing drivers’ windshields.

To address a migrant-driven financial crunch, the city is now cutting hours at local rec centers, slashing park programming, and freezing hiring in some departments. To save a little money, the city has decided against planting flowers in some of its parks and medians this spring.

The migrant crisis has cost the Denver region at least $170 million, according to a conservative estimate by Colorado’s Common Sense Institute, which looked at city spending as well as school and hospital costs, and is almost surely an undercount.

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