President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., have reached an agreement in principle to raise the debt ceiling and avoid a potentially disastrous default by the U.S. government.
After days of negotiations, the president and GOP leader reached the debt ceiling agreement during a phone call Saturday evening.
Biden called the deal an “an important step forward that reduces spending while protecting critical programs for working people and growing the economy for everyone.”
“The agreement represents a compromise, which means not everyone gets what they want. That’s the responsibility of governing,” Biden said.
He added, “And, this agreement is good news for the American people, because it prevents what could have been a catastrophic default and would have led to an economic recession, retirement accounts devastated, and millions of jobs lost.”
Meanwhile, McCarthy accused Biden of wasting time by refusing to negotiate for months but said they have reached an agreement that is “worth of the American people.”
McCarthy claimed the debt limit agreement “stops Democrats’ reckless spending, claws back unspent COVID funds, and blocks Biden’s new tax schemes.”
A source familiar with the negotiations told CNN the agreement in principle will raise the debt ceiling for two years and keep non-defense spending roughly flat for fiscal 2024 and increase it by 1 percent in fiscal year.
The deal also reportedly includes White House concessions on work requirements for people receiving food stamps.
The source told CNN the agreement reached phases in food stamp time limits on people up to age 54 that will then sunset in 2030, while also exempting veterans and the homeless from these limits.
Biden said negotiating teams will finalize the legislative text over the next day and urged both the House and Senate to pass the agreement “right away.”
The agreement is likely to face opposition from some Republicans who were seeking bigger spending cuts, potentially prolonging the process of passing the bill.
McCarthy told reporters Saturday evening that he expects the GOP-controlled House to vote on the agreement on Wednesday.
The last-minute agreement comes as lawmakers purportedly face a June 5 deadline, when Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has warned the U.S. will no longer be able to pay its bills.
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