Debt limit deal faces first test in GOP-led panel

STORY: "I anticipate voting for the rule."

A key Republican hardliner on the powerful House Rules Committee said on Tuesday that he would support sending the bipartisan debt ceiling deal to the floor for a vote, a critical first step in advancing Speaker Kevin McCarthy's agreement with President Joe Biden and avoiding a catastrophic default.

Here's Republican Representative Thomas Massie:

"My interest in being on this committee was not to imprint my ideology. I think that is an inappropriate use of the Rules Committee ... What do the 13 of us owe the rest of Congress? We owe them an honest shake and a playing field that doesn't change."

The Rules Committee, which decides what legislation gets a vote on the House floor, faced a direct challenge from the other two of three hardline Republicans, who McCarthy added to the panel as a condition of winning his speakership.

ROY: "Not one Republican should vote for this deal. It is a bad deal."

Ahead of the meeting, far-right members Chip Roy and Ralph Norman said they planned to vote against the deal if it wasn't changed to their liking, and played down the threat of default.

NORMAN: "It's time for us to say, 'No'. And look, I don't buy Janet Yellen's ‘the sky is falling.’ She's moved the X-date three times: June 1st, now June 5th, and I heard it's [now] June 8th. What gives? Tax revenues are going to be coming in. We're not going to default. They're going to say this. Let's call their bluff on it. The best deal is no deal."

At the White House, Biden's budget chief Shalanda Young said there was no indication the so-called X-date for when the government would run out of funds to pay all its bills would get pushed back from June 5.

"He knows more than I do then. Because I don't have that indication."

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has said the government would default if Congress did not increase the nation's $31.4 trillion debt ceiling by June 5.

McCarthy and Biden have predicted that they will get enough votes to pass the bill into law before June 5.

If the House passes it, the bill would then proceed to the Democratic-controlled Senate, where a vote could possibly stretch into the weekend if lawmakers in that chamber try to slow its passage.