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“US is saved from the scourge of default”

Newsman: The Senate passed a bill late Thursday evening to suspend the nation’s debt limit through January 1, 2025, averting a US default.

The debt ceiling and budget cuts compromise package negotiated between Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy leaves neither Republicans nor Democrats fully pleased with the outcome.

The House earlier this week already passed the measure and now the bill to be sent to President Joe Biden to be signed into law. President Biden said he would sign the bill into law as soon as possible. in a statement just moments after the Senate passed the debt limit bill President Biden said, ”I look forward to signing this bill into law as soon as possible.”  He praised Congress for its efforts. The White House said he would address the nation about the matter at 7 p.m. EDT Friday.

“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,” the president said.

Biden said senators from both parties “demonstrated once more that America is a nation that pays its bills and meets its obligations – and always will be.”

The Senate voted 63 to 36 to pass the bill. All told, most of the Democratic senators voted for the package, while most of the Republicans opposed it. The tally was 46 Democrats and 17 Republicans in favor; 31 Republicans along with four Democrats and one independent who caucuses with the Democrats opposed.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said ahead of voting that the bill’s passage means “America can breathe a sigh of relief.”

Afterward he said, “We’ve saved the country from the scourge of default.”

House speaker McCarthy brought Biden’s White House to the negotiating table to strike an agreement that forces spending cutbacks aimed at curbing the nation’s deficits.

Overall, the 99-page bill restricts spending for the next two years, suspends the debt ceiling into January 2025 and changes some policies, including imposing new work requirements for older Americans receiving food aid and green lighting an Appalachian natural gas line that many Democrats oppose.

It 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 1% cuts if Congress fails approve its annual spending bills.

After the House overwhelmingly approved the package late Wednesday, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell signaled he too wanted to waste no time ensuring it became law.

Touting its budget cuts, McConnell said Thursday, “The Senate has a chance to make that important progress a reality.”

Defense hawks led by Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina complained strongly that military spending, though boosted in the deal, was not enough to keep pace with inflation – particularly as they eye supplemental spending that will be needed this summer to support Ukraine against the war waged by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“Putin’s invasion is a defining moment of the 21st century,” Graham argued from the Senate floor. “What the House did is wrong.”

They secured an agreement from Schumer, which he read on the floor, stating that the debt ceiling deal “does nothing” to limit the Senate’s ability to approve other emergency supplemental funds for national security, including for Ukraine, or for disaster relief and other issues of national importance.

Suspending the debt limit through 2025 takes the threat of default off table until after the presidential election.

 

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