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debt ceiling talks
July 22, 2019

There's apparently some agreement in Washington, D.C.

The Democrat-led House and the GOP-run Senate and White House are getting close to finalizing a deal that would lift the debt ceiling for another two years, multiple sources reported Monday morning. The near deal likely won't include major spending cuts, people familiar with negotiations have said, spelling a likely defeat for deficit hawk and Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney.

Deficit ceiling talks roll around every few years, with Congress and the White House constantly having to hammer out a budget deal that usually includes lifting the federal government's debt limits. This year's deal is set to include $1.3 trillion in spending across government agencies and a two-year extension on the government's ability to borrow, The Associated Press reports. If all works out as reported, the government will likely avoid a shutdown that could've happened this coming fall.

This deal means government spending will increase "by tens of billions of dollars in the next two years," The Washington Post reports — the exact opposite of spending cuts a White House budget request spelled out earlier this year. That's quite possibly because Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is heading the talks for the White House instead of debt-reducing hardliner Mulvaney. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is meanwhile negotiating for Democrats, and both sides want to see a deal reached before Congress breaks for recess this week until late August. If a deal isn't orchestrated by September, $126 billion in automatic spending cuts will start in January, likely hitting Mnuchin's own agency. Kathryn Krawczyk

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