February 23, 2024

H.R.3746, also known as the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023, has become law.

The bill was presented to U.S. President Joe Biden on June 3 and signed on the same day, the Congress website shows. After being introduced in the House on May 29, it passed the House by a recorded vote of 314-117 on May 31, then passed the Senate by Yea-Nay vote of 63-36 on June 1, the site highlights.

H.R.3746 increases the federal debt limit, establishes new discretionary spending limits, rescinds unobligated funds, and expands work requirements for federal programs, a summary posted on the Congress site notes. It also includes provisions that expedite the permitting process for certain energy projects, the site summary points out.

In a statement posted on his Twitter page, Biden said, “I just signed into law a bipartisan budget agreement that prevents a first-ever default while reducing the deficit, safeguarding Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, and fulfilling our scared obligation to our veterans”.  

“Now, we continue the work of building the strongest economy in the world,” he added.

 

 

A statement posted on the White House website confirming the signed bill thanked Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Kevin McCarthy, House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell “for their partnership”.

In a statement posted on his Twitter page on June 2, Schumer said, “we passed this critical legislation to support American families, preserve vital programs, and avoid catastrophic default—and I look forward to President Biden signing it without delay”.

 

 

In a statement posted on his website on June 1, McConnell said, “four months after Speaker McCarthy invited President Biden to begin negotiating a resolution to the looming debt crisis, an important step toward fiscal sanity will finally become law”.

“Thanks to House Republicans’ efforts, the Fiscal Responsibility Act avoids the catastrophic consequences of default,” he added.

In a statement posted on the American Petroleum Institute (API) website after the House and Senate passed the debt ceiling bill, the API’s President and CEO Mike Sommers said, “we applaud the Congress for passing the debt limit bill that includes important progress on permitting reform”.

“Our current system for reviewing the infrastructure projects that fuel our economy and support our way of life did not become an endless gauntlet of bureaucratic hurdles overnight, and it will take more than one step to develop a workable process,” he added.

“This is a positive start, and we look forward to continuing to work with policymakers on both sides of the aisle to build on this progress,” Sommers continued.

In a statement sent to Rigzone on June 2, American Exploration and Production Council (AXPC) CEO Anne Bradbury said, “the Fiscal Responsibility Act is the first down in the permitting reform game, and we sincerely appreciate the members of Congress who championed American energy over the goal line”.

“Once signed by President Biden, the Mountain Valley Pipeline will provide low-cost, clean natural gas to American families and businesses, and the permitting reforms will provide much needed streamlining to the NEPA process,” Bradbury said in the statement.

“We encourage Congress to continue to work toward modernizing our permitting system and addressing more of the underlying issues that have been hurting America’s ability to build,” Bradbury added.

In a statement posted on its site on May 30, the Independent Petroleum Association of America’s (IPAA) President and CEO Jeff Eshelman said, “the Independent Petroleum Association of America is pleased Congress and the Biden Administration have developed a bipartisan agreement on the debt ceiling that includes important elements of reforming our nation’s onerous process for permitting energy projects”. 

“Although the agreement does not address many of the key issues surrounding permitting reform for oil, natural gas and other energy projects, it is a good first step in that process,” he added. 

“IPAA supports the bipartisan compromise and urges Congress to pass the measure and to continue to work on the various bills pending in Congress to make even further progress on these important issues,” Eshelman continued.

In a statement posted on its website last month, the White House highlighted that new analyses by both the Congressional Budget Office and the U.S. Department of the Treasury suggested the country was rapidly approaching the date at which the government can no longer pay its bills, “also known as the ‘X-date’”.

“History is clear that even getting close to a breach of the U.S. debt ceiling could cause significant disruptions to financial markets that would damage the economic conditions faced by households and businesses,” the White House said in that statement.

“An actual breach of the U.S. debt ceiling would likely cause severe damage to the U.S. economy,” it added.

To contact the author, email andreas.exarheas@rigzone.com

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