The top four leaders in Congress are scheduled to meet Thursday to open discussion on how to deal with budget and debt ceiling matters to avert a possible government shutdown in October.
Congress must approve a new government spending bill by Sept. 30 to avoid a government shutdown. Meanwhile, the government will reach its $16.7 trillion debt ceiling by mid-October, according to Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew. If it fails to raise the nation's borrowing authority by then, government will risk defaulting on debt payments.
According to Politico
, House Speaker John Boehner and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi are slated to meet with their counterparts in the Senate, Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, to talk about the budget and debt for the first time since Congress broke nearly six weeks ago for its summer recess. Reid asked for the meeting in a letter he sent to Boehner Sept. 5.
The House will probably try to pass a continuing resolution on the budget this week that would keep the government operating until Dec. 13. But Republicans plan to attach a resolution to the bill that would leave out funding for implementing Obamacare, which would in all likelihood never pass the Democratic-controlled Senate.
The standoff over Obamacare is just one example of how difficult it could be for Democrats and Republicans to reach agreement on budget and debt ceiling negotiations. Republicans are insisting that the Obama administration and Democrats accept more spending cuts in return for an increase in the debt limit.
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