Capitol dome
The U.S. Capitol dome is seen at night in Washington, U.S., December 17, 2020. REUTERS/Erin Scott.

Four of the five members of the San Diego County congressional delegation voted with the majority on Wednesday to raise the nation’s debt ceiling and avoid a potentially catastrophic default.

The House of Representatives voted 314-117 to send the legislation to the Senate, which must enact the measure and get it to President Biden’s desk before a Monday deadline, when the federal government is expected to run out of money to pay its bills.

“This agreement is good news for the American people and the American economy,” Biden said after the vote. “I urge the Senate to pass it as quickly as possible so that I can sign it into law.”

Democrats Sara Jacobs, Mike Levin, Scott Peters as well as Republican Darrell Issa voted with the majority. Democrat Juan Vargas voted against the Fiscal Responsibility Act.

“It was a terrible bill, and it was taking the U.S. economy hostage. I would have none of it,” said Vargas.

Jacobs called the measure ” far from perfect” because of spending caps on domestic programs, but stressed the importance of averting a default.

“After serious consideration, I voted yes on the bipartisan budget agreement to prevent the first default in our country’s history, which could send millions of people into poverty, kill millions of jobs, and cause permanent damage to our economy and global standing,” she said.

Levin said prior to the vote that he was prepared to vote in favor to “honor the country’s full faith and credit and avoid catastrophic economic damage.”

Despite the widespread bipartisan support, the measure drew opposition from 71 conservative Republicans and 46 liberal Democrats.

The legislation suspends the federal government’s borrowing limit through Jan. 1, 2025. The timeline allows Biden and Congress to set aside the politically risky issue until after the November 2024 presidential election.

It would also cap some government spending over the next two years, speed up the permitting process for certain energy projects, claw back unused COVID-19 funds and expand work requirements for food aid programs to additional recipients.

Late on Tuesday, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office said the legislation would result in $1.5 trillion in savings over a decade.

Updated at 7:20 a.m., Thursday, June 1, 2023. An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Rep. Juan Vargas voted with the majority.

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.