House

Pelosi aiming for budget deal by week's end

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (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."

The comments came shortly after Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) spoke with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin 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 Trump'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. 

Outbrain