WASHINGTON — Time for a broad deal to raise the government's borrowing limit and slash spending may be even shorter than it seems.
Even if quarreling lawmakers agree this month on a deal, it is doubtful Congress can pass it before an Aug. 2 deadline. That's when the Treasury Department says the U.S. will run short of money to pay bills.
Congress may have to vote at least twice on the political poisonous issue of raising the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling to avoid such a default. The first would be on an interim raise, possibly tens of billions of dollars, to provide time to wrap up a grand bargain that would let the government to go trillions deeper into debt — in exchange for spending cuts and possibly higher taxes.
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