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Biden Signs Bill to Raise Debt Ceiling, Averting Default

December 16, 2021 by Dan McCue
Biden Signs Bill to Raise Debt Ceiling, Averting Default
The U.S. Treasury Department. (Photo by Dan McCue)

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden has signed a bill raising the debt ceiling by $2.5 trillion, setting aside with the stroke of his pen the daunting prospect that the nation  would default on its debts.

The White House announced the signing of the bill without comment Thursday. 

Also signed was a House resolution providing for the award of a Congressional Gold Medal to the servicemembers who died at Hamid Karzai International Airport during the evacuation of Afghanistan last August.

As for the debt ceiling, the president’s signature on the bill means the nation will avoid default until at least January 2023.

The Senate passed the bill Tuesday 50-49, and the House followed suit with a 221-209 vote early Wednesday morning.

Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a Washington, D.C.-based watchdog group, said in a statement that her organization is relieved lawmakers agreed to raise the debt ceiling rather than putting the country’s full faith and credit at risk. 

“But this was way too last minute and brought our economy too close to the brink,” MacGuineas said.

“Washington now has a couple years before we next have to raise the debt ceiling. Before then, lawmakers should turn their attention to the hard work of developing a plan to start dealing with our problematic debt levels,” she said. “Both parties are responsible for our near-record levels of debt, and they will need to work together to fix it.

“Our suggestion to our leaders: don’t play chicken with the debt ceiling, and stop adding to the debt – both are irresponsible and undermine the strength of our nation,” MacGuineas  concluded.

President Biden also signed the annual proclamation that Dec. 17 be celebrated as “Wright Brothers Day.” 

Created by a joint resolution passed by Congress on Dec. 17, 1963, the presidential proclamation is intended to invite the American people to observe the day by honoring Wilbur and Orville Wright “with appropriate ceremonies and activities.”

The Wright Brothers achieved the first controlled powered flight in human history on Dec. 17, 1903, at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.

“Thanks to the tenacity and uniquely American spirit of the Wright Brothers and the pioneers who followed them, the skies are open and connecting people and communities around the world,” the proclamation says.

Dan can be reached at dan@thewellnews.com and at https://twitter.com/DanMcCue.

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