Biden touts bipartisanship in Oval Office speech on debt ceiling deal


The Bipartisan Budget Agreement was approved by a final vote of 63-36 in the Senate on Thursday night.

“Senators from both parties voted to protect our hard-won economic progress and prevent America’s first default,” Biden said in a statement overnight.

His companion bill in the Republican-led House, the Fiscal Responsibility Act, passed by a final vote of 314-117 on Wednesday.

“It protects the core pillars of my Investing in America agenda that is creating good jobs across the country, fueling a resurgence in manufacturing, rebuilding our infrastructure and promoting clean energy,” as well as programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, Biden said in the statement. “Protect my student debt relief plan for hard-working borrowers. And honor America’s sacred obligation to our veterans by fully funding veterans’ health care.”

Much of Biden’s speech on Friday struck a similar tone, highlighting accomplishments during his administration, including passage of the infrastructure bill and legislation to increase computer chip production and keep the United States competitive with China, the second largest economy in the world.

At one point during campaign-style remarks, Biden criticized Republicans for championing what he called “special interest tax loopholes” for certain industries. “But I’m coming back,” she said, in an apparent reference to the 2024 race. “And with your help, I’m going to win.”

He also referenced his 2020 campaign, saying: “When I ran for president, I was told that Democrats and Republicans couldn’t work together anymore. But I refuse to believe that, because America can never give in to that way of thinking. “.

Biden brokered the deal with McCarthy after pledging not to negotiate on the debt ceiling, a stance he maintained even as the leaders discussed a plan to cut the federal budget. The cuts angered members of both parties, with some Republicans insisting they weren’t severe enough, while Democrats argued they went too far.

The threat of a fast-approaching economic catastrophe hung over the talks, as the government warned it would soon run out of money to pay its bills.

Fitch Ratings, a major credit rating agency, which placed the US. northnegative look last week, said friday that it is holding the federal government’s credit rating at a perfect AAA, but will keep it on negative watch through the third quarter of this year, noting a “steady deterioration in governance over the past 15 years.”

In response, Treasury Department spokeswoman Lily Adams noted that the debt ceiling bill passed with “a broad bipartisan majority of both houses,” calling it a “fiscally responsible” measure that ” will continue to honor all of our commitments.”

“The Treasury market remains the safest, deepest and most liquid market in the world,” Adams added.

Last month, Biden cut short a foreign visit to return to the table in Washington as the clock was ticking down.

Throughout the tense talks, Biden considered using his powers to unilaterally raise the government’s borrowing limit by invoking the 14th Amendment, a move that would have been based on unproven legal theory but that some Democrats have urged the president to adopt. seriously consider.

Brian Cheung and Monica Alba contributed.

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