WASHINGTON D.C. (KSNT) – After long debates in Congress about the national budget, President Biden addressed the nation Friday to celebrate what he called a “crisis averted”.
The bipartisan measure was approved by the Senate late Thursday night after passing the House in yet another late session the night before. Biden is set to sign it at the White House on Saturday with just two days to spare until the Treasury Department has warned the U.S. wouldn’t be able to meet its obligations.
Kansas Sens. Roger Marshall and Jerry Moran, both Republican, butted heads on the debt limit. Moran voted in favor of the debt limit, Marshall voted against it. In the end, the bill passed Congress with a vote of 63-36. Kansas House of Representative members were also split on their votes. Rep. Jake LaTurner (R), Rep. Sharice Davice (D) and Rep Ron Estes (R) voted yay, while Rep. Tracy Mann (R) voted nay. The vote in the House was 314-117.
“No one got everything they wanted but the American people got what they needed,” Biden said, highlighting the “compromise and consensus” in the deal. “We averted an economic crisis and an economic collapse.”
“We’re cutting spending and bringing deficits down at the same time,” Biden said. “We’re protecting important priorities from Social Security to Medicare to Medicaid to veterans to our transformational investments in infrastructure and clean energy.”
The Congressional Budget Office estimates it could actually expand total eligibility for federal food assistance, with the elimination of work requirements for veterans, homeless people and young people leaving foster care.
The legislation also bolsters funds for defense and veterans, cuts back some new money for Internal Revenue Service and rejects Biden’s call to roll back Trump-era tax breaks on corporations and the wealthy to help cover the nation’s deficits. But the White House said the IRS’ plans to step up enforcement of tax laws for high-income earners and corporations would continue.
The agreement also imposes an automatic overall 1% cut to spending programs if Congress fails approve its annual spending bills, a measure designed to pressure lawmakers of both parties to reach consensus before the end of the fiscal year in September.
Associated Press contributed to this report.