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Biden on Budget Negotiations: I’ve Done My Part
U.S. President Joe Biden provided an update on the U.S. debt crisis and budget negotiations during a press conference Saturday following a Group of Seven (G7) meeting in Hiroshima, Japan. He emphasized that he met with all four Congressional leaders before he left to attend the G7 meeting, and they agreed that the only viable path forward is through a bipartisan agreement.
“I’ve done my part. We put forward a proposal that cuts spending by more than a trillion dollars, and on top of the nearly $3 trillion in deficit reduction that I previously proposed through the combination of spending cuts and new revenues,” Biden detailed.
“Now it’s time for the other side to move from their extreme positions, because much of what they’ve already proposed is simply, quite frankly, unacceptable.”
The U.S. president listed several things he will not agree to. “I’m not going to agree to a deal that protects, for example, a $30 billion tax break for the oil industry, which made $200 billion last year … while putting healthcare of 21 million Americans at risk by going after Medicaid,” he said.
“I’m not going to agree to a deal that protects $200 billion in excess payments for pharmaceutical industries and refusing to count that while cutting over 100,000 schoolteachers and — and assistants’ jobs, 30,000 law enforcement officers’ jobs cut across the — the entire United States of America.”
In addition, Biden stressed:
“I’m not going to agree to a deal that protects wealthy tax cheats and crypto traders while putting food assistance at risk for nearly a hundred — excuse me — nearly 1 million Americans.”
Many people took to social media to react to Biden’s statement about crypto. Some criticized the president for lumping crypto traders and tax cheats in the same category while others reminded him of all the money printing and spending under the Biden administration.
Biden Insists America Will Not Default on Debt
Biden proceeded to address widespread concerns about the U.S. defaulting on its debt obligations. U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has said that the Treasury may not be able to pay all of the government’s bills as early as June 1 “if Congress does not raise or suspend the debt limit before that time.” The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) similarly estimated that a U.S. debt default could occur in the first two weeks of June.
The U.S. president stated that all four congressional leaders agree with him that “default is not an option,” emphasizing:
“America has never defaulted … on our debt — and it never will.”
Many people have warned of serious repercussions if the U.S. defaults on its debt obligations, including a global financial crisis. Top executives of 146 major companies in the U.S. have urged Biden and congressional leaders to act swiftly to prevent a U.S. default, warning of “disastrous consequences.” Moreover, some believe that a U.S. default would risk the dollar’s reserve currency status.
Meanwhile, former President and 2024 presidential candidate Donald Trump has urged Republican lawmakers to let the U.S. default on its debt obligations if the Democrats do not agree to spending cuts. “It’s better than what we’re doing right now because we’re spending money like drunken sailors,” he said.