Biden Makes Ask of Americans in First Oval Office Speech

'Lower the temperature,' the president implores after talking about 'crisis averted' on debt ceiling
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 3, 2023 7:00 AM CDT
Biden on Debt Ceiling Deal: 'Crisis Averted'
Watch Biden's speech here.   (YouTube/CNN)

President Biden gave his first speech to the public from the Oval Office on Friday evening, and it centered on the debt ceiling deal approved by the House and Senate this week that will keep the United States out of default. "Crisis averted," Biden declared of the agreement he'd reached with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, which he plans on signing into law on Saturday, per Reuters. The president added that he and the GOP leader "were able to get along and get things done. ... Both sides operated in good faith." He conceded that "no one got everything they wanted" in the deal on the government's $31.4 trillion debt limit, "but the American people got what they needed." PBS notes that the president's remarks were the most detailed yet on the agreement, as he's remained mostly reticent while the major players hashed things out.

It's a move the news outlet says "frustrated some members of his party but was intended to give space for both sides to reach a deal." Biden also extrapolated the compromise he was able to reach with McCarthy to America at large, asking Americans to "stop shouting, lower the temperature, and work together to pursue progress," per Reuters. "No matter how tough our politics gets, we need to see each other not as adversaries but as fellow Americans." Per PBS, Biden acknowledged that "bipartisanship is hard," then added, "Unity is hard. But we can never stop trying." Reuters notes that presidents typically reserve speeches from the Oval Office "for the most significant and dramatic of events." In this case, the White House says Biden wanted to make clear how serious things would've been had the debt limit not been raised. His speech in full here. (Read more President Biden stories.)

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