President Biden on Saturday signed the bill that will raise the national debt by another $4 trillion — one day after taking a victory lap with an Oval Office address, the first of his presidency, that segued into a political stump speech.
The new law, which averts the risk of a federal default that the Treasury Department had warned would come on Monday, sailed through the Senate June 1 in a bipartisan 63-36 vote, with more Democrats than Republicans voting in favor.
Rep. Chip Roy (R-Tex.), who led the GOP opposition to the bill, remained glum Saturday as Biden signed it into law.
“Had conservatives not fought … the Washington uniparty cartel would’ve gotten everything it wanted, instead of just getting most of what it wanted,” Roy told The Post.
But Democrats exulted.
“Democrats are feeling very good,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. “We’ve saved the country from the scourge of default … I salute the president for his steadfastness and his work on this.”
The hard-fought deal, hammered out by Republican Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy, ended a weeks-long standoff between Capitol Hill and the White House.
It will allow the federal government to borrow money to pay its bills until 2025, while implementing a string of domestic spending caps demanded by the GOP.
The national debt now stands at $31.4 trillion.
“No one got everything they wanted,” Biden said Friday evening in a 13-minute speech delivered from behind the Resolute Desk. “But the American people got what they needed.”
“We averted an economic crisis — an economic collapse,” he added. “We’re cutting spending and bringing the deficits down at the same time.”
Despite the bill’s importance — and its time-sensitive nature — it still had to proceed through the normal congressional preparation process before it could be delivered to Biden for his signature.
That included copying its 99 pages of text onto parchment paper and having it signed by House officers, Fox News reported.
The agreement holds overall spending flat for the 2024 fiscal year and caps increases at 1% for 2025, while boosting spending for defense and veterans’ medical care.
It also imposes tougher work requirements on able-bodied adult food stamp recipients, halts some funding to hire new Internal Revenue Service agents, and claws back about $30 billion in unspent COVID-19 relief money.
The Republican-held House passed the legislation 314-117 on Wednesday, losing support from Roy and other conservatives outraged that the bill made no attempt to actually cut the government’s runaway spending.
Seventy-one House Republicans joined 46 Democrats in opposing the bill, which was finalized over the Memorial Day weekend.