White House source has shared with The Pavlovic Today so far unseen details from the debt ceiling agreement forged last night between Speaker McCarthy and President Biden.
“The deal that the President is announcing today we think is a good one,” a White House official shared his thinking on the matter. “It protects the historic economic gains we’ve made, really allowing one of the strongest recoveries on record to continue by taking the threat of default off the table into 2025.”
As per the source, the McCarthy-Biden Agreement prioritizes the safeguarding of non-defense discretionary funding, effectively preventing substantial reductions in crucial programs and investments “from scientific research, to Meals on Wheels to education and so many others.”
It is important to note that McCarthy-Biden Agreement does not restore funding to the levels of the previous fiscal year (FY 2022). Instead, it maintains non-defense spending at approximately the same level as the current fiscal year (FY 2023), considering the mutually agreed appropriations adjustments, throughout the year 2024.
The agreement fully funds medical care for veterans, including the funding the PACT Act’s toxic exposure fund (TEF) at the levels included in President Biden’s FY2024 budget.
- The TEF funding will increase by nearly $15 billion in FY2024 over enacted levels.
- The agreement includes stable, and secure funding for the TEF in both 2024 and 2025.
Medicaid, a healthcare program, remains unchanged, ensuring that 21 million Americans are not put at risk. The President insisted on expanding eligibility for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) for veterans, homeless individuals, and others, while also working to minimize cuts to SNAP. The bill includes significant expansions in eligibility, protecting vulnerable individuals from SNAP time limits. However, the agreement gradually implements a Republican proposal to extend SNAP time limits to individuals up to age 54, which the President strongly opposed. Overall, the number of people affected by SNAP work requirements is expected to remain relatively stable. Additionally, the President ensured that the changes to SNAP are temporary.
“We’ve got good news. I spoke with Speaker McCarthy and we’ve reached a bipartisan agreement that we’re ready to move to the full Congress. And I think it’s a really important step forward. It takes the threat of catastrophic default off the table, protects our hard earned and historic economic recovery and the agreement also represents a compromise that means no one got everything they want, but that’s the responsibility of governing. This is a deal that’s good news for, I believe you’ll see, the American people. The agreement prevents the worst possible crisis, a default for the first time in the nation’s history and economic recession, retirement accounts devastated, millions of jobs lost but also protects key priorities and accomplishments and values that congressional Democrats and I have fought long and hard for,” said Biden on Sunday afternoon in the Roosevelt Room.
“As the Speaker and I made clear from the start, the only way forward was a bipartisan agreement. That agreement now goes to the United States House and to the Senate. I strongly urge both, both chambers to pass that agreement. Let’s keep moving forward on meeting our obligations and building the strongest economy in the history of the world,” he added.
In response to questions, he denied that he had reversed his vow not to negotiate the debt ceiling. “I’m not negotiating the debt ceiling.” He was negotiating spending issues in order to get to the debt ceiling, he said. “You want to try and make it look like I made some compromises on the debt ceiling. I didn’t. I made a compromise on the budget.”
He also said that he would look at invoking the 14th Amendment at some later point, in a year or so. “But that’s another day.”
Biden said that McCarthy negotiated in good faith.
“I think he negotiated with me in good faith. He kept his word. He said what he would do. He did what he said he would do. I have no idea if he has the votes. I expect he does, or I don’t think he would have made the agreement,” concluded Biden.
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