Biden to Deliver Oval Office Address as U.S. Averts Default

Presidents often reserve the Oval Office for addresses to the nation about war, economic crises or natural disasters. President Ronald Reagan delivered somber remarks from the Oval Office about the space shuttle Challenger explosion in 1986. President Donald J. Trump announced pandemic restrictions from the Oval Office in early 2020.

Mr. Biden’s decision to use the same venue on Friday underscores how close he believes the two sides had veered toward economic calamity.

White House officials were cagey about what Mr. Biden planned to say in his remarks. But he has said on several occasions that he hoped to find a way to avoid a similar situation in the future and has mentioned a part of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution that says the debt of the United States “shall not be questioned.”

Some legal experts believe that a president could use that passage to ignore the statutory debt limit, thereby avoiding the regular clashes between the parties. Mr. Biden said last month that he hoped to “find a rationale to take it to the courts to see whether or not the 14th Amendment is, in fact, something that would be able to stop it.”

On Sunday, he said, “That’s another day.”

In the Oval Office speech, Mr. Biden could also confront the anger among some progressives in his party that he agreed to too many Republican demands during the negotiations.

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