WASHINGTON — President Biden will address the nation from the Oval Office on Friday after Congress voted to cut spending and extend the debt ceiling by two years.
Biden’s speech will be at 7 p.m. ET.
The bipartisan budget agreement passed Thursday night by a 63-36 vote in the Senate and the bill was sent to the president’s desk.
“Senators from both parties voted to protect the hard-won economic progress we have made and prevent a first-time United States default,” Biden said in a statement overnight. He is expected to sign the law.
Its companion bill in the Republican-led House of Representatives, the Fiscal Responsibility Act, was passed the day before by a final vote of 314 to 117.
“It protects the cornerstones of my Investing in America agenda that creates good jobs across the country, spurs a manufacturing recovery, rebuilds our infrastructure, and advances clean energy,” as well as programs like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. Biden said in the statement, “It protects my student debt relief plan for hard-working borrowers. And it honors America’s sacred obligation to our veterans by fully funding veterans’ medical care.”
He added, “I look forward to getting this bill enacted as soon as possible.”
Biden brokered the deal with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy after promising not to negotiate the debt ceiling, a stance he maintained even as leaders hammered out a plan to cut the federal budget. The cuts angered members of both parties. Some Republicans insisted they weren’t being strict enough, while Democrats argued they had gone too far.
The rapidly looming threat of economic disaster loomed over the talks as the government warned she would soon run out of money to pay her bills. Biden cut short his foreign visit and returned to the table in Washington just as the clock was running out.
During the intense talks, Biden considered using his powers to unilaterally raise the government’s credit limit by invoking the 14th Amendment, a move that would challenge a legal theory about which some members of the party of the Presidents should urgently think seriously.