President Biden urged both chambers of Congress to pass the “bipartisan” debt ceiling agreement negotiated by himself and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).
“We’ve got good news. Just spoke with Speaker McCarthy and we’ve reached a bipartisan budget agreement that we’re ready to move to the full Congress,” Biden said, adding that he views the agreement as “an important step forward.”
“The agreement also represents a compromise, which means nobody got everything they want. But that’s the responsibility of governing,” the president went on to say. “The agreement prevents the worst possible crisis, a default, for the first time in our nation’s history. An economic recession, retirement accounts devastated, millions of jobs lost. It also protects key priorities and accomplishments, and values that congressional Democrats and I have fought long and hard for.”
Biden on debt ceiling talks: "We've reached a bipartisan budget agreement that we're ready to move to the full Congress … The agreement also represents a compromise which means no one got everything they want." pic.twitter.com/wvrZtEXSYo
— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) May 28, 2023
“The speaker and I made it clear from the start that the only way forward was a bipartisan agreement,” Biden continued. “That agreement now goes to the United States House, and to the Senate. I strongly urge both chambers to pass that agreement,” the president said before taking a handful of questions.
When asked what he would say to members of his own party who might argue that he made too many concessions, the president replied, “they’ll find I didn’t.”
Biden also told reporters that he believes Speaker McCarthy negotiated in good faith. “He kept his word, he said what he would do, he did what he said he would do. I have no idea if he has the votes, I expect he does or I don’t think he would have made the agreement.”
According to a report from Axios, a senior House Democrat believes the agreement could receive near unanimous support from Democrats. “I expect the vast majority (and perhaps 100%) of Democrats to support it,” the senior House Democrat told Axios reporter Andrew Solender. “Contingent on final text, most are surprised by how modest the concessions appear to be.”
The agreement has been met with opposition by a number of House Freedom Caucus Republicans, however, with multiple members calling the bill a “disaster.”
“We could negotiate a ‘deal’ like this with a Democrat House majority,” said Rep. Bob Good (R-VA).
Citing a source close to House GOP leadership, Axios has reported that up to 60 Republicans could vote against the deal. Speaker McCarthy has remained optimistic that the agreement will pass, however, claiming that “95 percent” of House Republicans are satisfied.
A vote is expected to be scheduled for Wednesday.