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Saturday, September 30, 2023


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EconomyBiden and McCarthy... two men who met against their will to save the American economy

Biden and McCarthy… two men who met against their will to save the American economy

Current US President Joe Biden is the Democratic candidate in the upcoming presidential election, and he was initially opposed to the idea of ​​negotiating an increase in the public debt ceiling, believing that Republicans in control of the House of Representatives have a constitutional obligation to protect the country from defaulting on its debt without raising the debt ceiling.

As for Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, some critics saw him as a puppet of his party’s most extreme right-wingers, especially since he supported former President Donald Trump and wanted to impeach Biden, even if it provoked a backlash. economic chaos.

But after months of growing tension, Biden and McCarthy’s names were unexpectedly linked as they put aside their differences to save the US economy, leading US senators to vote Thursday in favor of the suspension of the federal debt ceiling one day after it was approved in the House of Representatives.

Economists have warned that the United States may not be able to pay its bills by Monday, leaving no room for delay in implementing the ‘Fiscal Responsibility Act’ which expands the power of government borrowing until 2024 while reducing federal spending.

Challenge assumptions

A few weeks ago, expectations were never high for the two leaders to reach an agreement.

Besides the fact that the current political era in the United States is witnessing extreme political clashes, McCarthy was a newcomer to the post of Speaker of the House of Representatives, while Biden was unpopular, according to a report by Agence France-Presse.

So just bringing them together for discussions was an obstacle in itself.

But in the end, Biden defied critics who complained about his inability to cooperate in negotiations.

White House spokeswoman Karen Jean-Pierre confirmed that Biden knew exactly when to give his negotiating team “the space and the time” because he had four decades of experience in the Senate before becoming the Barack Obama’s White House deputy.

Behind the scenes, Biden was always busy, especially since the early hours of dawn, so he participated in, for example, a call at 4:30 a.m. on a Sunday, according to a CNN article that the communications director of the White House, Ben LaBolt, reposted. on Twitter on Thursday.

Although McCarthy did not guarantee a reduction in some of the expenses demanded by the Republicans, he did force Biden to make some concessions and avoided – for now at least – the possibility of a rebellion within his ranks.

Virgin victory?

Washington is trying to see which side emerged from the political chaos before the other.

The Biden camp can boast that the deal will allow the government to borrow for a two-year period, meaning the political debate will not be repeated in the 2024 presidential election.

Biden also managed to get Republicans to back down from most of their key demands, which they had put forward as a condition of not letting Washington default.

As for the McCarthy camp, it scored a goal by implicating Biden in negotiations he said he would never conduct.

McCarthy has also taken on his party’s most unruly members, though anger over his apparent concession to Biden could lead to his impeachment.

“Both were able to save face given that neither side got everything they wanted,” said Sarah Bender, a political science professor at George Washington University.

But the mere rescue from an economic disaster is not enough to celebrate, according to Julian Zelizer, professor of history at Princeton University.

He explained: “(McCarthy) was forced to negotiate, because his only ally to save the country was the president and the Democrats, and that’s exactly what happened. So I think actually there is no sign of a great legislative and political achievement.”

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Arab Desk
Arab Desk
The Eastern Herald’s Arab Desk validates the stories published under this byline. That includes editorials, news stories, letters to the editor, and multimedia features on easternherald.com.

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