President Donald Trump on Thursday announced a $1 billion package of relief to address the debt crisis, including $1 trillion in new debt relief to help families who are struggling and families struggling to get by.
The president’s announcement came as lawmakers debated a bill that would increase the nation’s borrowing limit from $16 trillion to $18 trillion, the first such increase in more than 40 years.
Trump said the bill would provide $1 in aid per $1 of federal debt.
The measure also would make major tax cuts, including the corporate tax cut and a reduction in the personal income tax rate.
The debt limit must be raised within two months.
“This is the biggest debt crisis in our nation’s history, and it’s been going on for decades,” Trump said in a statement.
“It’s not just the American people.
It’s our entire country.
And we can’t continue to be at the mercy of this enormous economic crisis.”
He called the debt ceiling a “deadly political issue” and said that the debt has grown “a lot over the past four years” and it is “time to address it and get it under control.”
Congress passed a $16.5 trillion debt limit increase in December and then a $10.5 billion extension of that measure, which expires at the end of June.
Democrats are pushing the GOP to act sooner, calling it the “dead end” in negotiations.
House Speaker Paul Ryan said on Thursday that he wants the president to sign the bill into law before the end, arguing that it would allow the nation to deal with the debt in a more responsible manner.
“The president has the power to make the decisions on the debt, but he also has the responsibility to do it in a responsible manner, so we should have a very strong bipartisan agreement,” Ryan said.
“We’re going to work very hard to make sure that he does it.”
Ryan’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether Ryan is open to a bipartisan deal.
The plan would provide an additional $2.5 million in tax relief, the most significant increase in a bill the GOP has pushed for, and $1 million in debt forgiveness, according to the White House.
Trump, in his announcement, said the debt would be eliminated through a combination of “massive tax cuts” and a $2 trillion spending plan.
Ryan called the plan “fair and balanced” and praised the plan for “putting our country on a path to prosperity.”
He said it “will also help to help Americans struggling to make ends meet and reduce the burden on their children, families and communities.”
Ryan also announced that the plan would add $200 billion to the debt limit, $100 billion to emergency unemployment benefits, and “recover $400 billion” to Medicare.
The $2 billion in debt reduction would be split between two separate bills: one would allow $2,500 in tax cuts for individuals and businesses, while the other would allow individuals to deduct the cost of mortgage interest and other debt on their taxes.
Trump’s plan would also raise taxes on companies and individual households to pay for the new debt reduction.
He said the plan will also reduce “unfair, wasteful and unfair tax loopholes.”
The debt ceiling is set to expire at the beginning of the month, but Republicans have been negotiating on an extension.
The deadline for a deal has been pushed back to Sept. 30, but Ryan and other Republicans have said they would not allow it to happen unless they can find a way to raise the debt limits.
The deal will also require a vote in the Senate, and Democrats will likely try to delay it.