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Biden to Say Debt-Limit Deal Prevented ‘Economic Collapse’

President Joe Biden plans to say the debt-limit agreement he struck with Republicans was “essential” to avoiding an economic crisis and that it preserved the core accomplishments of his first term.

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(Bloomberg) — President Joe Biden plans to say the debt-limit agreement he struck with Republicans was “essential” to avoiding an economic crisis and that it preserved the core accomplishments of his first term. 

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“No one got everything they wanted but the American people got what they needed. We averted an economic crisis and an economic collapse,” Biden is expected to say Friday at 7pm in a national address from the Oval Office, according to excerpts released by the White House. 

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The agreement averted the country’s first-ever debt default, which would have had disastrous consequences for the US and global economies. 

Biden as soon as Saturday is expected to sign the bill, which the Senate approved late Thursday after the House passed it the day before. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen had said the US would run out of cash to pay its bills by June 5 if Congress did not raise or suspend the borrowing limit. 

After months of contentious back-and-forth over the default threat, Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy raced over the past week to craft a bipartisan agreement that suspended the debt limit until Jan. 1, 2025, in exchange for curbs on government spending. 

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“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 plans to say about the deal. 

The agreement is projected to cut federal deficits by about $1.5 trillion over a decade, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

Friday’s address will mark the president’s most expansive remarks on the debt ceiling since negotiations accelerated. Biden had said little publicly about the talks, which frustrated some of his Democratic allies but likely helped create an environment that allowed both sides to compromise.

The deal contains victories for both sides. It delays another partisan standoff over the debt limit until after the 2024 election, when Biden is seeking a second term, and left the president’s first-term legislative achievements untouched. 

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It changed the trajectory on federal spending, capping funding for defense and domestic programs for two years, while easing permitting rules for some energy and infrastructure projects and clawing back some funding for Internal Revenue Service agents and Covid-19 relief. 

Many lawmakers on the right and left were frustrated by its terms, and some who supported it voted for it reluctantly. House conservatives said the spending cuts did not go far enough, while some Senate Republicans balked at limits on security spending. Progressives criticized new work requirements for older Americans receiving food assistance and the approval of the Mountain Valley natural gas pipeline.

(Updates with additional details from fifth paragraph)


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