Biden Signs Debt Ceiling Bill

( – After several long months of refusing to meet with House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy over the looming U.S. debt crisis, President Biden has signed McCarthy’s bill to raise the nation’s debt ceiling to avoid a default.

After a private White House signing on June 3rd, Biden tweeted that he’d signed the bipartisan bill that would stop a “first-ever default” while reducing the national deficit and protecting entitlement programs such as Medicare, Social Security, and funding for veterans. 

The new legislation suspends the U.S. debt limit until January 1st, 2025, which is after the next presidential election. That debt limit was $31.4 trillion until the President signed the new law. Biden said passing the bill was essential as it would be “catastrophic” if the U.S. defaulted on its debt.

When the federal government is in danger of not being able to pay its debts, it is spoken of as a “default.” The term that would be used for an individual in the same situation would be “bankruptcy.”

Biden added that the legislation was a compromise. No side got everything it wanted, but each side got something. 

The bill reins in “discretionary” (non-entitlement program spending) spending for two years, and includes some items demanded by the GOP. Older citizens who get food stamps will have increased work requirements to maintain eligibility. But the bill also eliminates work requirements for veterans who receive food stamps, as well as for homeless people and young Americans leaving the foster care system. 

The legislation also takes away more than a billion dollars in new funding for the Internal Revenue Service. This may satisfy some moderates and conservatives who were unhappy with the Biden administration’s plan to hire 87,000 new IRS agents. Many worried these positions would be intentionally used to target lower-income Americans (and prominent figures who disagree with the White House) for audits. 

Finally, the law would automatically cut government spending 1% if Congress doesn’t approve annual spending bills.

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