House set to vote on debt ceiling bill, Dem congresswoman explains how she plans to vote

The House is scheduled to vote on a deal to raise the debt ceiling on Wednesday night. Representative Jan Schakowsky (D-Il.) will be one of the members casting a vote. She tells Yahoo Finance Live about how her vote will depend on how the night goes.

Video Transcript

The House will vote later this evening on the debt deal, which suspends the debt ceiling for two years. The Congressional Budget Office estimates the bill will cut federal spending by $1.5 trillion over a decade.

Now the legislation calls back some funding for the IRS and ends President Biden's student loan repayment freeze. The bill needs 218 yay votes to pass.

Joining us now is Illinois Congresswoman Schakowsky, Chief Deputy whip for the Democrats. Congresswoman Schakowsky, let's get right into where this stands. Is it going to get across the finish line? Are there enough votes?

JAN SCHAKOWSKY: Well, not without Democratic votes. We saw right now that the 29 Republicans didn't even vote for the rule. They were able to get most of the votes that they needed to bring it to a final vote.

But they can't do it without Democrats supporting it. There's a lot of their members that are just not buying this.

- Congresswoman, [INAUDIBLE] here. Do you support the deal?

JAN SCHAKOWSKY: So here's how I feel. I'm not going to vote to allow a default. So if it got that close, I would certainly vote in favor of making sure that we don't put the whole country into a tailspin.

On the other hand, I'm going to vote no because I think the fact that they brought us to the brink of total disaster of the American economy by holding everybody hostage, no, I'm going to vote-- I'm going to vote no because of that. I'm not happy about the rules having to do with the SNAP program, the food assistance program.

I'm not happy with the cuts to the IRS. I am not happy with the pipeline that they want to do. So I have a number of things that I'm not happy about that deserve I think a no vote.

But my first priority is to make sure that at the end of the day, these Republicans don't take us into total default, which would be a complete disaster.

- So if you vote no Congresswoman Schakowsky, and others follow suit other Democrats follow suit, there is that risk that you talk about with regard to the debt ceiling? Go ahead.

JAN SCHAKOWSKY: Well, I'm going to-- I'm going to watch the votes as they come in. And I'm going to wait until I see that they're there that will be passage.

And it's true that is more my no would be more of a symbolic vote. But I'm sorry. I am not going to go without at least expressing my punishment for what they have done so far to bring us to this point. But I'm going to assure that I am not going to be a deciding vote that would ruin our economy.

- Congresswoman, do you not agree with the way that President Biden went about this? Because I think, on the one hand, people are saying, hey, this is a sign of a reasonable compromise given the fact that you have progressives on one side, and the far right on the other side who are both unhappy with this deal. So those in the middle are showing the signs that, hey, maybe that this is a sign of a relatively stable compromise.

JAN SCHAKOWSKY: We are going to have to vote in September on a budget agreement. That's where you do that kind of negotiating. But what you see that President Biden was able to do was to protect Social Security, and Medicare, and Medicaid, which they really wanted to do to help finance money for veterans and for homeless people.

We kept all of the benefits of the bills that we passed last year. The Inflation Reduction Act, which puts a lot of money into climate. So I'm very proud of what the president said. He saved the infrastructure bill that we need so bad the CHIPS and Science bill.

So there were a lot of good things that they would have liked to have destroyed that they weren't able to do that on the Republican side.

- Congresswoman Schakowsky, what gives you cause for concern? You mentioned the SNAP program. I know the work requirements piece has been a big sticking point. What is it that stands out to you that's troubling?

JAN SCHAKOWSKY: You know, who is going to at 50 years old, now it's up to 54, who is going to go out and try and get a job? And I want to tell you, who are those people by and large? I think what we're looking at is older women.

There are jobs out there for a 52-year-old woman or a woman of color to go out and get a job in order to get $6 a day. That's what the SNAP program gives you so that you can put a little bit of food on the table.

This is the richest country in the world that the richest point in history. And the fact that there is prevalent hunger in the United States of America to begin with is absolutely shameless.

And now to say that it's not enough to be aged 50. We have to raise that and make it even harder, especially, I believe, it's going to be for women and probably women of color.

- All right. Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, we appreciate you so much for joining us. We certainly will be watching that vote later today.

JAN SCHAKOWSKY: Thank you so much. Any time, I'll be with you. Thank you.