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Deal approved, Biden will address budget, debt agreement from Oval Office

After days of default threats, the debt limit-budget agreement was worked out by Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy
President Joe Biden says “I got sandbagged” in talking about falling earlier in the day at the U.S. Air Force Academy, as he walks from Marine One upon arrival on the South Lawn of the White House, Thursday, June 1, 2023, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

President Joe Biden planned to discuss the contentious, just-passed budget deal in a speech to the nation Friday night (June 2), ready to sign the agreement averting the country’s first-ever government default, which would have sent shock waves through the U.S. and global economies.

The measure was approved late Thursday night after passing the House in yet another late session the night before.

After days of default threats, the debt limit-budget agreement was worked out by Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, giving Republicans some of their spending-cut demands but holding the line on major Democratic priorities.

“No one gets everything they want in a negotiation, but make no mistake: This bipartisan agreement is a big win for our economy and the American people,” Biden said in a statement on Thursday.

Biden’s speech on Friday, scheduled for 7 p.m. EDT, will be the most extended remarks from the Democratic president on the compromise. He largely remained quiet publicly during negotiations, a decision that frustrated some members of his party but was intended to give space for both sides to reach a deal.

Fast action was vital if Washington hoped to meet next Monday’s deadline, when Treasury has said the U.S. will start running short of cash to pay its bills.

The deal suspends the nation’s debt limit until 2025, after the next presidential election, and ensures that the government can continue borrowing to pay already incurred U.S. debts.

Overall, the 99-page bill restricts spending for the next two years and changes some policies, including imposing new work requirements for older Americans receiving food aid and greenlighting an Appalachian natural gas line that many Democrats oppose. Some environmental rules were modified to help streamline approvals for infrastructure projects.

The legislation also bolsters funds for defense and veterans, cuts back new money for Internal Revenue Service agents and rejects Biden’s call to roll back Trump-era tax breaks on corporations and the wealthy to help cover the nation’s deficits. It imposes automatic overall 1% cuts if Congress fails approve its annual spending bills.

Chris Megerian, The Associated Press

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