Biden signs debt ceiling bill into law

WASHINGTON — President Biden on Saturday signed the debt ceiling bill days ahead of a default deadline put in place by the Treasury Department.

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The White House announced Saturday that Biden signed the legislation in private at the White House, according to The Associated Press.

The bill was passed by the House of Representatives on Wednesday and by the Senate late Thursday night.

“I just signed into law a bipartisan budget agreement that prevents a first-ever default while reducing the deficit, safeguarding Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, and fulfilling our scared obligation to our veterans,” Biden said on Twitter accompanied by a video of him signing the bill into law.

The bill restricts spending for two years and suspends the debt ceiling until January 2025. It also changes requirements for older Americans who receive food aid and gives the go-ahead for an Appalachian natural gas line, the AP reported.

“Thank you to Speaker McCarthy, Leader Jeffries, Leader Schumer, and Leader McConnell for their partnership,” the White House said in a news release.

In addition to the debt limit, the law puts a cap on nondefense spending, expands requirements for some food stamp recipients, and draws back COVID-19 relief funds, according to CNN.

The signing of the bill happened with just a couple of days to spare for the June 5 default date in which the Treasury Department had warned that the county would be unable to pay some of its obligations and run out of cash which could have led to a “global economic catastrophe,” according to CNN.

“Passing this budget agreement was critical. The stakes could not have been higher,” Biden said from the Oval Office on Friday evening, according to the AP. “Nothing would have been more catastrophic,” he said, than defaulting on the country’s debt.

The U.S. debt limit is currently at $31.4 trillion. Raising the debt ceiling ensures that the government can borrow to pay debts that have already been incurred, the AP reported.

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