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President Joe Biden is seizing on the debt limit deal he negotiated as an opening argument for reelection, though he faces a tough sell with voters who are skeptical of his performance in office.
The agreement mitigated proposed Republican cuts to anti-poverty benefits, reduced government spending far less than the GOP demanded, maintained Biden’s first-term legislative victories — the Inflation Reduction Act, the bipartisan infrastructure plan, and the Chips Act — and pushed the next debt ceiling episode until 2025, after the presidential election.
The deal is the latest in a streak of Biden exceeding expectations, including Democrats’ performance in last November’s midterm elections where they gained a seat in the Senate and only narrowly lost the House. Yet polls show that Americans have mostly yawned at Biden’s accomplishments.
Read more: Biden Signs Debt Limit Deal Into Law,
On Friday evening, in his first public address from the Oval Office, ostensibly to speak about passage of the debt ceiling bill, Biden listed the agreement alongside those other legislative accomplishments.
The address doubled as a campaign speech with the president ticking off many of his election promises, including closing special interest loopholes for the wealthy, the oil industry, and cryptocurrency investors.
“Republicans defended every single one of these special interest loopholes. Every single one. But I’m going to be coming back and with your help I’m going to win,” Biden said from behind the Resolute Desk. Akayla Gardner looks at how voters think Biden handled the deal.
Debt Ceiling Defused
Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) is safe in his position after reaching a debt ceiling deal that almost a third of his Republican caucus voted against, a key GOP negotiator said.
Four women are at the helm of the House and Senate appropriations committees for the first time, but political experts say the gains are slow-going and less than necessary for equity. Some totals even appear to be slipping — 10 years ago, Senate Democrats had eight women chairs to today’s four.
- The House is back today for fast-track floor votes on several bills.
- Senators return tomorrow for votes on White House nominees.
- At 1:30 p.m., Biden holds a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen of Denmark at the White House.
- The president welcomes the Kansas City Chiefs to the White House to celebrate their championship season and victory in Super Bowl LVII at 4:30 p.m.
- Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre holds a briefing at 1:45 p.m.
Politics & Probes
Harlan Crow, a billionaire Republican donor, has refused a second request by Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) to answer questions about gifts and travel he provided to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
Donald Trump skipped a motorcycles-and-barbecue fundraiser that’s the marquee Republican political event of the early summer in Iowa, ceding the stage to a gaggle of contenders led by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Rep. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) made his second appearance in Iowa as a presidential candidate on Friday, arguing that he can unify the Republican Party by projecting an optimism that will not only lead to victory in 2024 but guide the US into the future.
What Else We’re Reading
A highly anticipated defense forum in Singapore kicked off with a friendly handshake between US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Chinese Defense Minister Li Shangfu. It ended Sunday with few other signs of optimism that the world’s biggest economies could avoid an eventual collision.
The Biden administration is doling out more than $570 million aimed at reducing train and vehicle collisions as national scrutiny around rail safety has escalated.
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