President Joe Biden delivered his first Oval Office address as president from behind the Resolute Desk to hold up a deal to avoid defaulting on the nation’s debt as a substantial bipartisan achievement.
‘We averted an economic crisis – an economic collapse,’ Biden told the nation Friday night.
‘Passing this budget agreement was critical,’ Biden said, speaking in a low voice during the prime time broadcast. ‘The stakes could not have been higher. If they 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, in a default on our national debt.’
‘Nothing –nothing would have been more irresponsible. Nothing would have been more catastrophic. Our economy would have been thrown in recession,’ Biden intoned.
He also used the address to pledge to go after ‘tax cheats’ and hike taxes on the wealthy, even after Republican negotiators nixed his revenue proposals as a way to pay for spending that gets trimmed under the deal.
‘We also have to raise revenue to go after tax cheats and make sure everybody’s paying their fair share,’ Biden said.
He repeated his pledge not to hike taxes on people earning more than $400,000 per year, and defended a boost in funds for IRS audits and technology – although the debt deal actually pares back an $80 billion infusion by about $20 billion.
‘That’s why last year I secured more funding, more IRS funding to go after wealthy tax cheats,’ he said. tThe nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office and is nonpartisan says that this bill will bring in $150 billion and other outside experts expect that it would save as much as $400 billion. This is forcing people to pay their fair share. Republicans may not like it, but I’m going to make sure the wealthy pay their fair share.
Then called for closing ‘special interest tax loopholes for big oil, crypto traders, hedge fund billionaires, saving taxpayers billions of dollars.’
‘Republicans defended every single one of these special interest loopholes. Every single one. But I’m going to come back with your help. I’m going to win,’ he vowed – although to become law the legislation must originate in the Republican-dominated House.
‘Nothing would have been more catastrophic’ than a default on the nation’s debt, President Joe Biden told the nation in a speech from the Oval Office during prime time Friday. He called the achievement a ‘crisis averted,’ with a deal to suspend the debt limit until January 2025
He had praise for all four congressional leaders – after months of running down ‘MAGA’ Republicans as a threat to compromise.
‘Both sides operated in good faith. Both sides kept their word,’ Biden said. He said Republican and Democratic negotiators ‘acted responsibly to put the good of the country above politics.’
Biden delivered the address at a critical time for his presidency and his reelection chances.
The deal was his first major achievement with the new Republican House. Republicans came into office demanding to rein in spending and finally make a dent in the nation’s $31 trillion debt, which has grown over a period of years and ballooned during the Trump administration amid the COVID crisis.
His approval ratings remain low, and Republican presidential candidates vying to replace him have begun to engage in an increasingly acrimonious campaign, with former President Donald Trump getting into tense scraps with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis while attacking other contenders.
Biden vowed to take on ‘tax cheats,’ after his revenue proposals got nixed by Republican negotiators
Biden had praise for ‘responsible’ congressional leaders, including negotiating partner Speaker Kevin McCarthy
The president vowed to try again to hike taxes on the rich, after a deal froze spending for the next fiscal year
The venue – a seated speech in the Oval Office – was designed to convey gravity to the situation, even as many Americans were kicking off the weekend. It also gave Biden the chance to avoid a walking entrance, a day after he tumbled at the Coast Guard Academy.
Biden used the opportunity of the legislative win to cast himself as a sensible figure in the center urging restraint and compromise.
‘It was critical to reach an agreement, and it’s very good news for the American people. We averted an economic crisis – an economic collapse,’ he said.
‘I know bipartisanship is hard, and unity is hard, but we can never stop trying,’ he said near the end of his remarks.
He called for politicians to treat each other ‘not as adversaries but as fellow Americans.’ He also repeated his call to ‘lower the temperature and work together to secure progress.’
Biden had some selling to do with progressive Democrats who bemoaned the effective spending cuts in the deal. Biden cast it as a way to preserve key elements of his agenda – including the infrastructure law and legislation to boost semiconductor production.
He spoke to the importance of reaching a deal to try to give the budget standoff some drama, after Washington has experienced past government shutdowns, default risks, and ‘fiscal cliffs.’
‘Essential to all the progress we’ve made in the last few years is keeping the full, faith, and credit of the United States and passing a budget that continues to grow our economy and reflects our values as a nation,’ Biden said.
‘And that’s why I’m speaking to you tonight. To report on a crisis averted and what we are doing to protect America’s future. Passing this budget agreement was critical. The stakes could not have been higher.’
The deal imposes flat funding for the next fiscal year, with a 1 per cent cut the next, while expanding work requirements for food stamps – but also accomplishes Biden’s top goal of avoiding default.
After a months-long period when top Treasury officials and Wall Streeters warned of wide-ranging impacts on the global economy, Biden is set to take avoiding that worst case scenario as a win. But his speech comes after credit rating Fitch Ratings announced it would keep the U.S. on a ‘negative watch,’ noting that it dodged the deadline but faces ‘repeated political standoffs.’
President Biden arranged the speech to discuss bipartisan budget deal that prevented a ‘catastrophic default,’ said White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre
It comes after Biden got to herald yet another positive jobs report, as the economy added 339,999 jobs in May, something he touted in his remarks.
Biden said of the compromise: ‘No one got everything they wanted but the American people got what they needed. We averted an economic crisis and an economic collapse.’
He used the speech to cast himself as a sensible force who could broker a solution at a time when Republican critics are casting him as extreme.
‘We’re cutting spending and bringing deficits down. And, we protected important priorities from Social Security to Medicare to Medicaid to veterans to our transformational investments in infrastructure and clean energy,’ Biden said.
‘The President wanted to make sure that he addressed the American people directly,’ said Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre in advance of the speech.
She said lawmakers from both parties joined to ‘prevent a catastrophic default and demonstrated once more that America is a nation that pays its bills and meets its obligation.’
It was Biden’s first prime time speech since he spoke from the Blue Room balcony to announce that the U.S. carried out an air strike that killed Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri.
The speech comes hours after Biden took a tumble while handing out diplomas to cadets at the Air Force Academy in Colorado.
President Joe Biden while speak about the bipartisan budget effort that kept the nation out of a ‘catastrophic’ potential default
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy told his caucus that Republicans were able to achieve a rare reduction in government spending while suspending the debt ceiling until January 2025
It will be Biden’s first prime time speech to the nation from the Oval Office as president
President Joe Biden is helped up after falling during the graduation ceremony at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado. He fell while handing out diplomas to cadets. One virtue of the Oval Office venue is it doesn’t allow room for many physical mishaps
Speaker Kevin McCarthy unveiled the 99-page bill raising the debt ceiling to avoid the U.S. defaulting
It was at another venue exactly a year ago that Biden spoke from yet another White House venue during prime time. That one was to mark the gun attack on children and teachers at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas.
Biden’s celebration of the debt deal comes despite criticism from a faction of progressive lawmakers angry about the flat funding that amounts to a budget cut. The deal passed the House The 314-to-117 with 46 Democrats and 71 Republicans voting against it.
It also includes controversial new work requirements, although many House conservative Republicans are fuming at other program changes that would exempt veterans and homeless, making the changes close to a wash.