(Washington Examiner) President Joe Biden signed the Fiscal Responsibility Act into law, the White House announced on Saturday, effectively raising the debt ceiling and avoiding a possibly catastrophic economic fallout just two days before the Treasury’s default deadline.
Biden signed the bipartisan measure, marking the end of a monthslong battle between the White House and Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) to increase the debt limit in order to avoid defaulting on the country’s loans. The measure includes a number of government spending cuts that were made in exchange for the debt ceiling hike that was agreed upon after weeks of grueling negotiations between the two parties.
“I just signed into law a bipartisan budget agreement that prevents a first-ever default while reducing the deficit, safeguarding Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, and fulfilling our scared obligation to our veterans,” Biden tweeted. “Now, we continue the work of building the strongest economy in the world.
I just signed into law a bipartisan budget agreement that prevents a first-ever default while reducing the deficit, safeguarding Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, and fulfilling our scared obligation to our veterans.
Now, we continue the work of building the strongest… pic.twitter.com/42HIFBy8Y9
— President Biden (@POTUS) June 3, 2023
The bipartisan talks were then followed by an intense whip effort in the House earlier this week by McCarthy to get enough members of his caucus on board to advance the legislation. The Senate was quick to pick up the bill the next day, allowing senators to vote on a series of amendments in an effort to force a vote on the legislation.
Overall, the bill passed the House with a wide margin of 314-117 on Wednesday before cruising through the Senate with a 63-36 vote the next day.
The bill proposes suspending the nation’s debt ceiling until Jan. 1, 2025, in effect putting off another debt ceiling showdown until after the 2024 presidential election and freeing Biden from the problem for the rest of his term. Conservatives opposed setting a date rather than a dollar amount for the borrowing limit, arguing it gives Washington a blank check.
Other provisions in the deal, which roughly sets a two-year freeze on discretionary spending, would reclaim unspent COVID-19 relief, reduce funding for the IRS, and restart student loan payments.
As expected, no one emerged from negotiations with everything they wanted. But each side claimed victory as Democratic and Republican leadership sought to sell the deal to their membership and the public.