Under fire from right, left: Why majority in AZ delegation voted against debt-ceiling deal

The vote on the debt-ceiling package splintered Arizona's House delegation, with the majority voting no on a package that would keep the country from defaulting on its obligations.

The 314 to 117 vote in the U.S. House of Representatives Wednesday sends the legislation to the Senate, which could act by Friday.

The pact has come under fire from the right and left. Besides lifting the $31.4 trillion debt ceiling, the deal negotiated by President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy would, among other moves, establish work requirements for certain individuals receiving benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, and set a limit on some federal expenditures through 2025.

The agreement also would make sure the debt limit would not have to be brought up for a vote until Jan. 1, 2025.

Arizona's Republican Reps. Andy Biggs, Eli Crane, Paul Gosar and Debbi Lesko and Democratic Rep. Raúl Grijalva voted no.

Republican Reps. Juan Ciscomani and David Schweikert voted for it, as did Democratic Reps. Ruben Gallego and Greg Stanton.

"The alternatives are a clean lift or defaulting on our obligations — two options I’m not willing to entertain," Ciscomani said via Twitter. "I was elected to responsibly govern, and what Republicans have negotiated is a step in the right direction."

Schweikert also called it a step toward a larger goal.

“While there are some accomplishments in this bill, including House Republicans passing the largest deficit reduction in American history, there is still much more work to be done to restore our nation's fiscal health," Schweikert said in a written statement. "This admittedly imperfect legislation begins the process of solving Washington's unsustainable spending problems."

Grijalva said he voted against "this dangerous precedent and childish behavior by the extreme Republican majority."

"I’m voting against Republicans’ reckless hostage taking because working people shouldn’t be forced to bear the impacts of Republicans’ chaos and cruelty," Grijalva said in a written statement.

"We shouldn’t have to choose between economic catastrophe or a healthy planet. We shouldn’t compromise on protecting our most vulnerable and disproportionately impacted communities. I’m drawing a red line in the sand against devastating cuts that impact the health and wellbeing of my constituents and the communities I represent. It’s time House Republicans stopped the gamesmanship. The American people deserve better."

Lesko elaborated on her problems with the package: "I am concerned that the bill allows unlimited borrowing with no debt ceiling cap through January 1, 2025, that the IRS will still have $70.6 billion to hire IRS agents, and that able-bodied adults who are experiencing homelessness are now exempted from work, job training, or drug rehabilitation requirements to receive SNAP benefits.

"Instead of advancing a system that makes people reliant on government programs that were designed for temporary assistance, we need to help those experiencing homelessness prepare for work and find jobs so they can get off of the streets permanently."

Rep. Greg Stanton, D-Ariz., said ahead of the vote he would back the deal.

“America is the world’s leading economy and we must always pay our bills,” Stanton said in a written statement. “A default would be devastating — costing millions of Americans their jobs, draining retirement accounts, driving up costs and undermining our national security. Some in Congress are willing to play political games with the economic security of our nation. That’s shameful.

“I will support this agreement not because it is perfect, but because it is a bipartisan compromise that will avert economic catastrophe," he continued. "We cannot allow the full faith and credit of the United States to be used as a political football at the expense of the people we serve.”

This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Arizona delegation split 5-4 on Biden-McCarthy debt-ceiling deal