The Sunday Subject – June 4, 2023

The White House and Republicans in Congress reached a deal on increasing the limit on federal debt.

The deal suspends the debt ceiling for two years and cuts some government spending, though nowhere near as much as the Republicans wanted. Both Senate Democratic majority leader Chuck Schumer and Republican minority leader Mitch McConnell have come out strongly in favor of the deal.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan won a third term as Turkey’s president.

Erdogan took 52% of the vote in a run-off against opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu. The opposition promised to dismantle Erdogan’s authoritarian reforms and release some of Turkey’s political prisoners; Erdogan painted them as a threat to Turkish culture and national security. The Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe reported that while voting was fair, media bias and restrictions on expression gave Erdogan an unfair advantage. Many observers fear that this election was the last chance to repair and preserve democracy in Turkey.

Pedro Sanchez, Spain’s prime minister, called a snap general election after his Socialist party suffered major losses in regional and local elections.

The Socialists lost control of Aragon, Extremadura, Valencia and Seville to the conservative People’s Party. If elected, the People’s Party would likely rely on the support of the right-wing Vox party to govern, heavily shifting the country’s political direction.