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Pelosi aiming for budget deal by week's end

Pelosi aiming for budget deal by week's end
© Greg Nash

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOn The Money: Inflation jumps at fastest pace since 2008 | Biden 'encouraged' on bipartisan infrastructure deal Overnight Health Care: CDC approves Pfizer vaccine for adolescents aged 12-15 | House moderates signal concerns with Pelosi drug pricing bill | Panel blasts COVID-19 response Biden 'encouraged' by meeting with congressional leaders on infrastructure MORE (D-Calif.) said Wednesday that she's hoping to finalize a budget package with the White House by the end of the week. 

Pelosi noted that Democrats want to move the legislation by regular order — meaning it would need to be introduced days ahead of a floor vote — leaving a tight timeline if Democratic leaders intend to vote on the package before the long August recess, which is scheduled to begin July 27.

"So we have to get something soon, so that we can post it with enough lead time," she told several reporters. "Preferably by the end of the week."

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The comments came shortly after Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerBiden 'encouraged' by meeting with congressional leaders on infrastructure Republicans welcome the chance to work with Democrats on a bipartisan infrastructure bill Cheney sideshow distracts from important battle over Democrats' partisan voting bill MORE (D-N.Y.) spoke with Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven MnuchinDemocrats justified in filibustering GOP, says Schumer Yellen provides signature for paper currency Biden's name will not appear on stimulus checks, White House says MORE by phone for roughly 30 minutes on the topic of raising budget caps on domestic and defense spending, while hiking the debt ceiling to avoid a government default. The Treasury Department hit that ceiling in March, when it began a process of “extraordinary measures,” allowing for the short-term extension of the borrowing cap. 

Wednesday's call was just the latest in a long series of discussions between Pelosi and Mnuchin, President TrumpDonald TrumpWarren says Republican party 'eating itself and it is discovering that the meal is poisonous' More than 75 Asian, LGBTQ groups oppose anti-Asian crime bill McConnell says he's 'great admirer' of Liz Cheney but mum on her removal MORE's point man on the issue. 

Pelosi cautioned that the negotiators may miss her preferred deadline — "We're not finished," she said — but suggested the talks were inching closer to a deal. 

"The conversations are all about seeking clarity, and if that's called progress, then yes we did [make progress]," she said.

Democrats are pressing for a two-year deal on raising both the spending caps and the debt limit. Pelosi said that remains the goal in the final stretch of the talks, and amplified the Democrats long-standing position that they won't accept a short-term agreement forcing negotiators back to the negotiating table before the 2020 elections. 

"We can't accept any short-term [deal]," she said.