Transcript for Biden signs debt ceiling deal into law
ZOHREEN SHAH: President Biden signing legislation on Saturday to raise the debt ceiling. The bipartisan measure, passed by both chambers of Congress earlier this week, averts an unprecedented government default.
- The stakes could not have been higher. If we had failed to reach an agreement on the budget, there were extreme voices threatening to take America, for the first time in our 247 year history, into default on our national debt. Nothing, nothing would have been more irresponsible.
ZOHREEN SHAH: The agreement will suspend the debt ceiling for two years past the 2024 presidential election while limiting federal spending. It puts new work requirements on some Americans receiving food assistance, and in August formally ends the pause on federal student loan payments.
But taxes on the wealthiest Americans or big corporations, a key demand from the White House, were not included.
- Look, the only way American democracy can function is through compromise and consensus. And that's what I work to do as your president, to forge a bipartisan agreement where it's possible and where it's needed.
ZOHREEN SHAH: For months, the president had insisted he would not negotiate on the debt ceiling. But with that June 5th deadline looming and millions of Americans Social Security, Medicare, and veterans' benefits in jeopardy, the president and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy worked out a last-minute deal.
- I think we did pretty dang good for the American public.
ZOHREEN SHAH: The economy still faces trouble. Credit rating agency Fitch cites repeated political standoffs over the debt limit and says the US is at risk of a credit rating downgrade, which would make borrowing more expensive and potentially send the stock market tumbling. Zohreen Shah, ABC News, Los Angeles.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.