Can Lawmakers Avoid a Fiscal Fiasco?

Can Lawmakers Avoid a Fiscal Fiasco?


Congress has until the end of September to fund the government for the next fiscal year and avoid another shutdown. It might have even less time to raise the government’s borrowing limit and avoid a market-rattling crisis.

So far, though, there have been few public signs of progress in ending the current stalemate.

Trump administration officials and congressional leaders are reportedly working to revive their stalled budget talks. The Trump administration’s negotiators, including Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, reportedly met with top congressional Republicans on Wednesday afternoon. And Mnuchin was set to talk by phone for the second straight day with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) after Pelosi shot down the idea of more meetings with administration negotiators.

Lawmakers are reportedly looking to increase spending caps as part of a two-year deal and also raise the debt ceiling before August. White House officials, meanwhile, have pushed for a year-long spending freeze and a separate increase in the debt ceiling — options that even GOP lawmakers find problematic.

"The best way is to get a caps deal with Democrats and let the debt ceiling ride on it," Senate Majority Whip John Thune (R-SD) said on Wednesday morning, according to Politico. "It would be great to get it done before August."