Biden enacts law that averts US bankruptcy

Biden enacts law that averts US bankruptcy

2023-06-03 20:09:00

After several weeks of political confrontation, Joe Biden promulgated a law on Saturday that eliminates the risk of a default in payment by the United States, the White House announced.

The US Congress adopted this week this text which allows the public debt ceiling of the United States to be suspended until January 2025, and which also sets certain budgetary objectives.

The president thanked House officials, including Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, for their “collaboration” on the file, according to the White House statement on Saturday.

Without this law, approved Thursday in the Senate with a Democratic majority and Wednesday by the House with a Republican majority, the country risked being in default of payment as of Monday, June 5.

“Nothing would have been more irresponsible, nothing would have been more catastrophic,” the US president said Friday in a solemn address from his Oval Office.

“Finding consensus across partisan divides is difficult. Unity is difficult. But we must never stop trying,” he added, echoing the message of reconciliation that had marked the start of his tenure, and which now punctuates its campaign for 2024.

shared victory

Because the issue of this financial confrontation was also very political.

Candidate for his re-election, Joe Biden knows that his first handicap is his age, 80 years old.

He doubtless hopes that this soap opera on the debt, which has kept the American political and media world spellbound, reinforces an image of a competent and reasonable leader.

Joe Biden thus held Friday to “salute” his most prominent opponent in this debt file, the Republican boss of the House of Representatives Kevin McCarthy.

For the latter, it was a question of consolidating his authority over a motley parliamentary group, between moderate conservatives and vociferous supporters of former President Donald Trump.

Also a presidential candidate for 2024, the Republican billionaire had called for keeping a hard line in negotiations with the White House.

In the end, each side more or less claims victory. The Republicans are delighted to have pulled off a freeze on certain expenditures, the Democrats are pleased to have essentially preserved social benefits as well as major investments.

life on credit

This altogether austere fight around public finances, which had already taken place when Barack Obama was president, will probably not have a great effect on the 2024 election.

But it left some traces: the rating agency Fitch thus kept the precious AAA rating of the United States under surveillance on Friday, deploring the “political polarization” and noting “a constant deterioration of governance over the past 15 years “.

Like almost all developed economies, the United States lives on credit – it also has the heaviest debt in the world, in absolute terms.

But no other industrialized country comes up against a rigid debt ceiling at regular intervals, which Congress must raise.

03/06/2023 20:08:06 – 
        Washington (AFP) – 
        © 2023 AFP

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