Letter: Debt limit disaster is averted

Published 1:45 pm Tuesday, June 13, 2023

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Our country dodged a disaster with the Debt Limit agreement President Biden negotiated with the Republican House of Representatives. The final bipartisan agreement approved by the House of Representatives and Senate and signed by President Biden was a win for the American people.

Essential safeguards for Americans were saved, and our national security and the needs of our veterans were protected while controlling federal spending. First Congressional District

Representative Brad Finstad voted against the bipartisan agreement.

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If President Biden had not negotiated the agreement, millions of jobs and trillions of dollars of household wealth would have vanished, and ironically the federal budget would have been in even worse shape. The status of the United States would have been fundamentally damaged.

The agreement provides for a two-year suspension of the debt limit, which moves this issue past the next presidential election and keeps non-defense spending flat in the 2024 fiscal year, increasing by 1% the following year. The agreement fully funds medical care for veterans.

The agreement rescinds about thirty billion dollars of unspent pandemic relief money approved in previous bills. The Internal Revenue Service has 1.4 billion dollars rescinded, and 20 billion have been reduced from 80 billion dollars of new IRS funding.

The agreement changes work requirements for able-bodied recipients from the current ages of 18 to 49 to the ages of 18 to 54 for eligibility for the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program.

The pause in student loan payments due to the pandemic will end in August 2023.

The agreement takes steps to speed up the approval process for energy projects. A single federal agency will oversee a project’s environmental review instead of numerous agencies. This is a first step in protecting consumers. More needs to be done. The increased cost of construction due to delays and the cost of litigation for permitting necessary energy projects is ultimately paid by consumers at higher rates. The increased costs increase utility profits at the expense of consumers.

The final agreement was balanced and provided for the basic needs of Americans while moderating federal spending. Most importantly, it preserved our standing and protected the world’s economy from disaster.