Just two days before the U.S. Treasury issued a warning about difficulty paying its bills, President Joe Biden is anticipated to sign legislation raising the debt ceiling on Saturday.
This week, the House and Senate approved the bipartisan measure, preventing the possibility of an unprecedented government default.
On Friday night, Biden stated from the Oval Office, “Passing this budget agreement was critical. The stakes were at an all-time high. He emphasised the dire repercussions of the nation’s debt default.
Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy hashed out the agreement, providing Republicans with some demanded federal spending cuts while holding the line on major Democratic priorities. The legislation raises the debt limit until 2025, after the 2024 presidential election, and provides legislators with budget targets for the next two years to ensure fiscal stability.
Biden stated, “The American people got what they needed,” acknowledging compromise and consensus in the deal. He emphasized averting an economic crisis and collapse.
Achievements of first term.
Biden listed achievements of his first term, including support for high-tech manufacturing, infrastructure investments, and financial incentives for fighting climate change. He highlighted protecting important priorities such as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, veterans, infrastructure, and clean energy investments.
While expressing willingness to work with Republicans, Biden drew contrasts, particularly on raising taxes on the wealthy, suggesting it may need to wait for a second term.
Biden’s detailed remarks on the compromise negotiations praised McCarthy and congressional leaders for acting responsibly and putting the good of the country ahead of politics.
The 99-page bill restricts spending for the next two years, changing policies such as imposing new work requirements for older Americans receiving food aid and greenlighting an Appalachian natural gas pipeline. It modifies some environmental rules to streamline infrastructure and energy project approvals.
The legislation bolsters defense and veterans funding, cuts back some new money for the Internal Revenue Service, and rejects rolling back Trump-era tax breaks on corporations and the wealthy. However, the IRS plans to step up enforcement of tax laws for high-income earners and corporations will continue.
The US debt ceiling agreement includes an automatic 1% cut to spending programs if Congress fails to approve annual spending bills, pressuring lawmakers to reach consensus before the fiscal year’s end in September.
In both chambers, more Democrats than Republicans supported the legislation, making both parties critical to its passage. The Senate tally was 63-36, with 46 Democrats and independents and 17 Republicans in favor, while 31 Republicans along with four Democrats and one independent opposed.