Biden says budget deal reached, takes ‘catastrophic default’ off the table


President Biden said Sunday the bipartisan budget agreement reached with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has taken the ‘threat of catastrophic default off the table.’ 

The final agreement, reached earlier Sunday, comes with just days to spare before a potential first-ever government default. 

‘[The deal] represents a compromise, which means no one got everything they wanted. But that’s the responsibility of governing,’ Biden said. ‘The agreement prevents the worst possible crisis and default for the first time in our nation’s history.’ 

When asked what he had to say to members of his own party who said he needed to make concessions in the deal, Biden said: ‘They’ll find, I didn’t.’ 

The days ahead will determine whether Washington is again able to narrowly avoid a default on U.S. debt, as it has done many times before, or whether the global economy enters a potential crisis.

In the United States, a default could cause financial markets to freeze up and spark an international financial crisis. Analysts say millions of jobs would vanish, borrowing and unemployment rates would jump, and a stock-market plunge could erase trillions of dollars in household wealth. It would all but shatter the $24 trillion market for Treasury debt.

Support from both parties will be needed to win congressional approval before a projected June 5 government default on U.S. debts. Lawmakers are not expected to return to work from the Memorial Day weekend before Tuesday, at the earliest, and McCarthy has promised lawmakers he will abide by the rule to post any bill for 72 hours before voting.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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