debt ceiling

Capitol Ink | Last One Out

Road ahead: Pressure rising for debt limit deal
Lawmakers face deadline on debt even as other priorities come to floor

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and other congressional leaders and the administration only have a few legislative days to strike a deal  on raising the debt limit. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Congress is set to consider several high-profile measures this week, including holding two Cabinet officials in contempt, raising the minimum wage and ratifying tax treaties, but lawmakers will be unable to avoid the contentious issue of raising the federal debt ceiling. 

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin have been speaking by phone, trying to reach agreement on avoiding a potentially calamitous debt default.

Podcast: New Capitol Hill Trifecta
The Week Ahead, Episode 69

CQ's budget editor David Lerman and Roll Call's Senate leadership reporter Niels Lesniewski explain the policy and political impact of the deal struck between President Donald Trump and Democratic leaders to resolve several thorny government spending issues simultaneously.

Trump Backs Democrats’ Debt Limit Proposal Against GOP Urging
Some Republicans shocked by Trump’s decision, few critical

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell at a news conference Wednesday in which he announced the deal struck by President Donald Trump and Democratic leaders on the debt ceiling. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

“Oh, boy.”

That was House Republican Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodger’s reaction when she heard President Donald Trump backed the Democrats’ request for a three-month debt limit extension, against his own party leadership’s urging.

Capitol Ink | Essential Reading

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Harvey Aid Package Adds to Full House Agenda
Debt limits talks have potential to divide Republicans

House GOP leaders plan to begin finishing the appropriations process on the floor and possibly passing a relief package for Hurricane Harvey in September. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As the House returns from its summer recess, Republicans are looking to pass the eight remaining appropriations bills soon, which would complete a GOP omnibus they hope will serve as an opening bid for negotiations with the Senate.

The chamber might also take quick action on an initial supplemental appropriations measure to provide money for Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts. An additional package or two will likely be needed as Harvey’s full impact is assessed.

Fall House Forecast: Funding Issues Include Border Wall, Debt Ceiling
 

Podcast: Trump Upends Congress’s Fall Agenda
The Week Ahead, Episode 67

President Donald Trump’s speech in Phoenix on August 22, in which he threatened a government shutdown and criticized Republican lawmakers, isn’t going to help Congress get things done in September.

Congress Set for Horse-Trading Over Must-Pass Bills in September
“Clean” debt limit increase will likely require Democrats’ support

North Carolina Rep. Mark Walker said a clean debt ceiling increase appears unlikely to pass without “more more increased spending and must-pass legislation to attract the necessary votes.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Congress’ September agenda is packed with several must-pass bills that Republicans and Democrats are likely to look to as leverage for extracting concessions on other priorities.

With a short legislative calendar next month — only 12 days when both chambers are scheduled to be in session (the Senate has a few extra days on its timetable) — some measures could be packaged together, creating even more leverage and risk. 

Podcast: Short Recess, Long on Goals
The Big Story, Episode 62

The Senate will stick around Washington a little longer in August, shortening its recess to focus on an ambitious agenda. The list of things to do could include confirming the new FBI director. CQ Roll Call Senior Senate Reporter Niels Lesniewski and Leadership Editor Jason Dick break down what is doable.