Debt limit deal heads to President Biden’s desk

WASHINGTON, D.C. (NBC) – President Biden will speak to the nation Friday night now that the government has avoided default.

In a bipartisan vote, the Senate passed the debt limit bill Thursday night. All that’s needed now is President Biden’s signature. But the vote was not without controversy.

Once signed into law, the bill will cap spending for the next two years.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said, “We may be a little tired, but we did it.”

In a 63-36 vote, senators passed the bipartisan agreement to raise the debt ceiling in exchange for spending cuts.

In a statement, President Biden called the move “a big win for our economy and the American people.” It’s a sentiment echoed throughout his administration.

National Economic Council Deputy Director Bharat Ramamurti said, “It builds on another step that the president secured last year when he passed the Inflation Reduction Act.”

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) praised the bill as an important step toward fiscal sanity.

The measure also comes with criticism.

Senators introduced 11 amendments. All were shot down, including Senator Tim Kaine’s attempt to block efforts to speed up completion of a controversial gas pipeline.

Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) said, “Virginians don’t want to have their land taken for a pipeline unless there is a thorough process.”

“This project has been scrutinized every which way,” said Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV.) “It has been to the circuit court nine different times.”

Neither side got everything they wanted.

Party leaders say compromise was essential to saving the country from a first-ever default.

“We’re very, very happy,” Senator Schumer said. “Default was the giant sword hanging over America’s head.”

The bill is now headed to the president’s desk.

President Biden is expected to address the nation on the debt ceiling bill Friday evening.

After the bill passed, Moody’s released a statement saying the U.S.’ AAA credit rating is intact and will not be downgraded.

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