Biden Celebrates Win Over ‘Extreme Voices’ on Debt Ceiling Deal

Biden Celebrates Win Over ‘Extreme Voices’ on Debt Ceiling Deal

President Joe Biden is celebrating the passage of the bipartisan bill to raise the debt ceiling as a win over “extreme voices.”

In a speech from the White House on Friday, Biden said that he would soon be signing the Fiscal Responsibility Act after it passed in Congress this week, averting a potential default on the national debt until at least 2025.

Following negotiations between the White House and Republican Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy, the measure passed by a vote of 314 to 117 in the House on Wednesday and 63 to 36 in the Senate on Thursday.

Biden went out of his way to praise McCarthy for being “able to get along” during negotiations that he said were “straightforward,” “completely honest” and “respectful.”

Joe Biden Debt Ceiling Deal Extreme Voices
President Joe Biden is pictured Friday at the White House in Washington, D.C., during an address to the nation on the debt ceiling deal. The president lauded passage of the bipartisan bill as a triumph over “extreme voices.”
Jim Watson

Newsweek has reached out via email to the office of McCarthy for comment.

The president said that a “catastrophe” had been avoided by the majority who voted in favor of the legislation, despite “extreme” members “threatening” to unleash “economic collapse.” He expects to sign the bill on Saturday.

“The stakes could not have been higher,” said Biden. “If we had failed to reach an agreement on the budget, there were extreme voices threatening to take America, for the first time in our 247-year history, and to default on our national debt. Nothing, nothing would have been more irresponsible. Nothing would have been more catastrophic.”

“It would have taken years to climb out of that hole,” he continued. “It was critical to reach an agreement. And it’s very good news for American people. No one got everything they wanted, but the American people got what they needed. We averted an economic crisis, an economic collapse.”

Biden went on to say that “bipartisanship is hard and unity is hard” but “we can never stop trying,” arguing that there is “no other way” to “pursue progress, secure prosperity and keep the promise of America for everybody.”

While the bill eventually passed through Congress with relative ease, its success was anything but certain during a tense period leading up to a June 1 deadline, the earliest date when Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen predicted the nation could reach its debt limit.

Experts predicted devastating consequences for the national and global economy if the debt ceiling was not raised, which could have caused the U.S. government to default on its debt for the first time ever.

Regardless of the potential high stakes, the deal reached by Biden and McCarthy was opposed by a significant number of lawmakers from the far ends of both sides of the political spectrum.

In the House, McCarthy faced mockery from some due to more Democrats than Republicans supporting the bill that he championed. The measure was opposed by Republicans, including many members of the hard-right Freedom Caucus, while Democrats who opposed the bill included members of the hard-left Congressional Progressive Caucus.

In the Senate, 31 Republicans voted against the bill, along with five senators who caucus with Democrats. Those who rejected the deal included figures associated with the right wing of the Republican Party, such as Senators Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley. Left-wing progressives such as Senator Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren also voted against the bill.

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