The U.S. is running out of time to reach a deal to raise the debt ceiling – a deadline the government could breach in early September – but leaders on both sides of the aisle are keeping mum on the rate at which discussions are progressing.
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House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., gave their weekly updates on Capitol Hill on Thursday – where both were asked about the prospect of reaching a deal before the U.S. runs out of money to pay its bills. Neither gave a solid timeline regarding a potential agreement, but McCarthy said there is so much infighting within the Democratic Party that is becoming difficult to get anything accomplished.
“I understand within this new Democrat-socialist party they’ve got a big fight going on in their conference, they have real challenges to bring up the most basic things to go forward,” he said. “I know they have real fights in there and [it’s] hard to achieve anything.”
A deal will raise the U.S. borrowing authority in order to cover the annual deficit it accrues. It will also allow the government to continue routine payments, including Social Security benefits.
In addition to the debt ceiling, McCarthy said immigration and the USMCA were two issues that needed to be dealt with before August – adding that Republicans will work with anyone who wants to solve those problems.
Congress is in recess for much of August, limiting prospects for a deal that month – which means an agreement needs to be reached either this month, or in September. Prior talks fell apart in mid-June.
Pelosi refused to give any details on timing, but said conversations are ongoing and no one wants there to be any doubt about “the full faith and credit of the United States of America.”
Pelosi is expected to speak with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin by phone on Thursday to find common ground on both the debt ceiling and the budget caps, sources told Fox News.
Spending caps and the debt ceiling have become linked on Capitol Hill, as lawmakers want to attach increases in nondefense and defense spending to an increase in the U.S. borrowing authority. Pelosi has said the House won’t pass legislation to increase the borrowing cap unless the administration agrees to lift spending limits on domestic programs.
White House sources told Fox News that Republicans and Democrats are not that “far apart” on the issues.
Mnuchin on Wednesday urged lawmakers to pass something on the debt ceiling before the August recess.