Seventeen Republicans, including Utah’s Sen. Mitt Romney, joined the majority of Democrats in voting for the legislation. Others crossing party lines included Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, Sens. John Cornyn of Texas, Susan Collins of Maine, Chuck Grassley of Iowa, and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.
The measure, which required 60 votes, passed despite four Democrats and Bernie Sanders, an independent who caucuses with Democrats, voting “no.
Biden, who spoke from the Oval Office for the first time, said that passing the budgetary agreement was critical and would continue efforts to grow the economy while reflecting the values of the nation.
“We’re cutting spending and bringing deficits down,” Biden said. “And, we protected important priorities from Social Security to Medicare to Medicaid to veterans to our transformational investments in infrastructure and clean energy.”
“Passing this budget agreement was critical,” Biden said. “The stakes could not have been higher.”
Biden also emphasized his efforts to protect services such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. He also touted his record on unemployment and inflation.
“We’re investing in American, in our people and our future,” Biden said. “More Americans are working than ever before and inflation is at a ten month low.”
Late Thursday night the U.S. Senate passed legislation suspending the debt limit and imposing new spending caps, allowing the United States to avoid defaulting for the first time.
The Fiscal Responsibility Act suspends the debt limit until the first quarter of 2025. It keeps non-defense discretionary spending roughly flat and ensure that the student loan payment suspensions will end in September.
Despite the bill’s passage, some Senators have voiced their displeasure with the bill.
Sanders blasted the bill for making “it easier for fossil fuel companies to pollute,” for spending “more on the military than the next 10 nations combined,” for allowing the pharmaceutical industry to charge “the American people the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs” as Sanders claimed more than “45 million Americans are drowning in student debt.”
Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., wants to get rid of a provision that would speed up approval of the Mountain Valley Pipeline natural gas pipeline that would run through West Virginia and Virginia.
Kentucky Republican Senator Rand Paul has called for across-the-board spending cuts over the next two years.
According to The Hill, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., has called for an increase in defense spending.
McConnell himself also criticized the 1% increase in defense spending in the bill, saying it is not enough.
“I think that’s the worst part of the deal,” McConnell said Wednesday, according to ABC News.
Biden on Friday also vowed to make sure the wealthy pay higher taxes.
“I kept my commitment to make sure that nobody making under $400,000 will pay more in taxes,” Biden said. “That’s why I fought to secure more funding for the IRS.”