President Joe Biden hails bipartisan deal to avert debt default in a rare Oval Office address

Updated: 6:50 p.m.

President Biden praised a bipartisan agreement that raised the debt ceiling and averted a calamitous debt default in a rare Oval Office speech Friday.

“There were extreme voices threatening to take America, for the first time in our 247-year history, into default on our national debt,” he said. “Nothing. Nothing would have been more irresponsible. Nothing would have been more catastrophic.”

He warned how close the economy was to being thrown into recession as a result. He said retirement accounts for millions of Americans would have been decimated and 8 million Americans would have lost their jobs.

“No one got everything they wanted, but the American people got what they needed,” Biden said.

The nearly 15-minute address served as a victory lap for the president after the Senate passed the legislation he negotiated with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy to raise the debt ceiling for two years and cut federal spending.

In what appeared to be a nod to one of his key arguments for reelection, Biden underscored the type of steady leadership he asserts he can continue to provide in comparison to some of the partisan fighting being waged by more hardline Republicans, including leading Republican candidates for president.

“No matter how tough our politics gets, we need to see each other not as adversaries, but as fellow Americans,” Biden said. “Treat each other with dignity and respect. To join forces as Americans to stop shouting. Lower the temperature. Work together to pursue progress, secure prosperity and keep the promise of America for everybody.”

Both sides claim a win, with detractors in both parties

Biden listed all the administration priorities that he protected as part of the deal, including the preservation of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, health care for veterans and technology investments.

But Republicans have claimed victory as well.

The compromise cuts federal spending by $1.5 trillion over a decade, according to the Congressional Budget Office. It also imposes stricter work requirements for food stamps that the Biden administration opposed. It claws back money for the IRS and approximately $27 billion in funding to federal agencies intended to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

Some far-right Republicans opposed the deal, arguing it didn't cut enough spending, while some hard-left Democrats said the increased work requirements could lead to more hunger.

But in the end, a majority of Republicans and Democrats came together to pass the legislation.

Months of partisan rancor end just ahead of deadline

Passage of the bipartisan bill comes just days ahead of when Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned that the government would begin to run out of money to pay its bills.

It also ends months of tensions in Washington after Republicans refused to raise the debt limit unless Biden and the Democrats placed more restrictions on federal spending.

Biden even considered invoking the 14th Amendment of the Constitution to keep making payments on the nation's debt — but ultimately determined there was not enough time left before a looming deadline to use the untested strategy.

In his address Friday night, Biden singled out McCarthy, whom he said was respectful and straightforward in his negotiations.

"Both sides operated in good faith," he said. "Both sides kept their word."

Biden said he would sign the bill on Saturday.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit

Collected from Minnesota Public Radio News. View original source here.

Something about how we pulled the post from the source. And maybe a link to an About page of some kind for the source post pulling. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.
Minnesota Public Radio (MPR), is a public radio network for the state of Minnesota. With its three services, News & Information, YourClassical MPR and The Current, MPR operates a 46-station regional radio network in the upper Midwest. Last updated from Wikipedia 2023-09-13T04:32:59Z.
Take-Down Requests
If you represent the source for this content and would like us to remove this from our site, please submit a takedown request here and we will review it promptly.
Something here about the community discussion ground rules. Recently updated charts from the most popular data releases according to the Federal Reserve Economic Database (FRED).
…..comments widget will be down here.
Recently updated charts from the most popular data releases according to the Federal Reserve Economic Database (FRED).