US President Joe Biden used his first Oval Office speech of his presidency to declare victory after both houses of Congress approved a bipartisan deal to raise the debt ceiling, preventing debt default and economic chaos.
The president praised the Republican and Democratic negotiators and praised House Speaker Kevin McCarthy for working with him to complete the deal, which the two men made just days before the Treasury Department ran out of money to pay the country’s bills, the Los Angeles Times reported.
But even as he thanked his political opponents, Biden was quick to reveal his disagreement with them. He pointed to previous Republican calls for cuts to Social Security and Medicare, and criticized proposed cuts to Medicaid, clean energy investments and funding for the Internal Revenue Service, which oversees tax collection.
“Republicans may not like it, but I’m going to make sure the rich pay their fair share,” Biden said. “I’m back, and with your help, I’m going to win.” And the Oval Office address allowed him to speak directly to the American people not at a time of impending crisis but, as he told the country, to “declare a crisis averted.” “Nobody got everything they wanted, but the American people got what they needed,” Biden said. “We avoided an economic crisis, an economic collapse.” Biden said he plans to sign the debt ceiling settlement into law on Saturday.
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