Biden, McCarthy reach final agreement on debt ceiling

  • Biden announced a final debt ceiling agreement Sunday
  • Some Democrats are concerned Biden made too many concessions
  • The agreement prevents the "worst possible crisis," Biden says

(NewsNation) — President Joe Biden announced a final bipartisan agreement on the debt ceiling on Sunday, just days before a possible historic default. The agreement is now ready to go to Congress.

“It’s a really important step forward. It takes the threat of catastrophic default off the table, protects our hard-earned and historic economic recovery and the agreement also represents a compromise which means no one got everything they want,” Biden said during a press conference Sunday.

The Democratic president and Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy spoke with each other on Sunday as negotiators rushed to draft the bill text so lawmakers can review compromises that neither the hard right or left flank is likely to support. Instead, the leaders are working to gather backing from the political middle as Congress hurries toward votes before a June 5 deadline to avert a damaging federal default.

“If you want to try to make it look like I made some compromise on the debt ceiling, I didn’t. I made a compromise on the budget,” Biden said at a press conference Sunday.

In response to some Democrats criticizing Biden for making too many compromises in order to reach an agreement, Biden said “I think they’ll find I didn’t.”

Support from both parties will be needed to win congressional approval before a projected June 5 government default on U.S. debts. Lawmakers are not expected to return to work from the Memorial Day weekend before Tuesday, at the earliest, and McCarthy has promised lawmakers he will abide by the rule to post any bill for 72 hours before voting.

“If it doesn’t pass the House, then it’s a very tricky situation, you could go back to the drawing board and start again. But that seems almost impossible to bring to success in the time available,” said The Hill White House columnist Niall Stanage during an appearance on “NewsNation Prime.” “There is a suggestion of the president invoking a particular amendment to that would be deeply controversial, or the United States could default, which would be unprecedented and would have all kinds of ripple effects.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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