Biden signs debt limit deal to end crisis

President Joe Biden signed a bipartisan debt limit package on Saturday, narrowly avoiding a potential default and protecting the economy. Biden negotiated with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and considers the deal a necessary compromise that protected Democrats' key priorities while cutting some of the spending Republicans oppose. The agreement cuts $1.5 trillion from the federal budget over the next decade and spends more on food stamps, the opposite of Republicans' goal. Far-right Republicans wanted deeper spending cuts, and defense hawks wanted more military spending. Progressives complained about the expanded work requirements for low-income assistance programs, expedited permitting for oil and gas projects, and caps on future spending. The deal suspends the debt limit until Jan. 2, 2025, but more budget fights lay ahead. If Congress cannot agree on how to fit next year's budget into the spending caps set by the deal, the federal government could temporarily shut down later this year. The Treasury has been using "extraordinary measures" to pay the nation's bills since mid-January when the nation bumped up against the $31.381 trillion limit on borrowing. The amount the government can borrow is set in statute, making it a separate process from the decisions made in annual spending bills and policy measures that determine how much funding goes out the door and how much is collected in taxes and other revenues.


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