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Two Democrats sidelined ahead of anticipated debt ceiling vote on Wednesday

Craig needs ankle surgery and Ross has COVID-19

Rep. Angie Craig, D-Minn., won't return to Washington this week for a vote on the debt limit bill.
Rep. Angie Craig, D-Minn., won't return to Washington this week for a vote on the debt limit bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Two House Democrats announced Tuesday that they’ll miss the anticipated vote this week on the debt ceiling deal negotiated over the weekend by Republicans and President Joe Biden.

Minnesota Democrat Angie Craig requires surgery after tripping at her home while doing yard work Monday night, according to a statement from her Chief of Staff Nick Coe posted on Twitter Tuesday afternoon. Craig was diagnosed with a bimalleolar fracture and a dislocated ankle.

“She is scheduled to undergo surgery to repair the ankle on Thursday. Her physician has advised her not to fly in advance of the surgery or immediately after,” Coe said in the statement. “As a result, Rep. Craig will miss votes in Congress this week related to the Bipartisan Budget Agreement.”

Rep. Deborah K. Ross, D-N.C., announced Tuesday morning that she’d tested positive for COVID-19 and will miss the vote, scheduled for Wednesday evening.

“While I am disappointed to be missing such a consequential week in DC, I support the bipartisan agreement that @POTUS has negotiated to prevent a catastrophic default,” Ross wrote on Twitter. 

House GOP leaders on Sunday released the text of their deal with the White House to suspend the debt ceiling until 2025. The bill would cap nondefense spending, claw back some unspent pandemic aid and tax enforcement funding and toughen work requirements for safety-net programs, among other provisions.

The deal is unpopular with members from opposite ends of the political spectrum: Both the House Freedom Caucus and Congressional Progressive Caucus have panned the proposal.

Neither Craig nor Ross is a member of the progressive caucus. Craig tweeted May 26 about the importance of avoiding a default.

“The US cannot default on its debt. First, we must act immediately to protect America’s full faith and credit. Then, let’s take action to reduce the deficit and rein in wasteful spending. That is what fiscal responsibility looks like,” Craig tweeted.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., has said he’ll deliver votes from the majority of his conference when the bill comes to the floor, while Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., said Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation” that he expects some Democrats would support the deal.

The U.S. government could be unable to pay its bills on time if the debt limit isn’t raised or suspended by June 5, Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen said Friday.

Coe did not estimate when Craig would return to Congress.

David Lerman and Paul M. Krawzak contributed to this report.

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