WASHINGTON: US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Wednesday (Jul 17) she would like to have a proposal on raising the U.S. debt ceiling on the House floor by Jul 25.
For that to happen, there needs to be an agreement on the debt limit with the administration by Friday, Pelosi told reporters.
US borrowing authority could be exhausted sometime in September, according to the latest administration estimates, rather than in October or November, as had earlier been projected.
US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Monday the Trump administration and Congress were getting close to a deal on raising the debt ceiling and he urged lawmakers to take action on the issue before leaving for an August recess.
The White House and congressional negotiators have been talking about a two-year extension of the debt limit. That would coincide with a hoped-for two-year deal on spending limits for defense and non-defense programs in fiscal year 2020, which begins on Oct 1, and the subsequent fiscal year.
On spending, Democrats had proposed US$733 billion in military funding for fiscal 2020, while Republicans were proposing US$750 billion.
On non-defence spending covering a wide range of domestic programs, the negotiators have been haggling over 2020 spending in the range of US$600 billion to around US$640 billion, although some in the White House were pushing for a significantly lower amount.
If no deal is produced in coming days, negotiators would have a couple choices: approve a short debt limit increase while talks continue, or wait until early September, when Congress comes back from a five-week summer break, and aim to pass debt limit legislation then, assuming the Treasury Department can maneuver until then around the current borrowing limit.