President Joe Biden delivered remarks Friday night in celebration of the bipartisan passage of a bill raising the debt ceiling, saying “the stakes could not have been higher.”
The president and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy were deliberating a bipartisan solution to raising the debt ceiling for weeks before potential default on June 5, with the California Republican pushing for spending cuts as a compromise. The Senate is in the process of sending the bill to Biden and the White House has said he is set to sign it into law as soon as Saturday. (RELATED: The House Just Passed The Fiscal Responsibility Act. Here’s What’s In It)
“Essential to all the progress we’ve made in the last few years is keeping the full, faith, and credit of the United States and passing a budget that continues to grow our economy and reflects our values as a nation,” Biden began in his first speech from the Oval Office during his presidency. “And that’s why I’m speaking to you tonight. To report on a crisis averted and what we are doing to protect America’s future. Passing this budget agreement was critical. The stakes could not have been higher.”
Biden has touted the passage of the bill as a win for Americans, despite neither party getting everything they wanted. He highlighted that his priority of not touching Social Security and Medicare was reflected in the bill.
Biden blamed “extreme voices” for threatening to bring the country to potential default, alluding to Republicans wanting to tie spending cuts to raising the debt ceiling.
“No one got everything they wanted but the American people got what they needed. We averted an economic crisis and an economic collapse. We’re cutting spending and bringing deficits down … And, we protected important priorities from Social Security to Medicare to Medicaid to veterans to our transformational investments in infrastructure and clean energy,” Biden added.
The bill allows the federal government to take out unlimited debt through Jan. 1, 2025. Republicans were able to push for capping non-defense discretionary spending at Fiscal Year 2022 levels for Fiscal Year 2024. The bill also claws back $28 billion in unspent COVID-19 stimulus funds and cuts $1.4 billion in IRS funding.