White House, congressional leaders revive budget talks

White House, congressional leaders revive budget talks
© Aaron Schwartz
Administration officials and congressional leaders are trying to revive long-stalled talks aimed at striking a budget deal and avoiding a government shutdown in the fall.
Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiGiuliani pens op-ed slamming 'unprecedented' impeachment inquiry Brindisi, Lamb recommended for Armed Services, Transportation Committees Overnight Health Care: Top health official defends contract payments to Trump allies | Vaping advocates confident Trump will turn from flavor ban | Sanders gets endorsement from nurses union MORE (D-Calif.) is expected to hold discussions with Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinNew book questions Harris's record on big banks On The Money: US paid record .1B in tariffs in September | Dems ramp up oversight of 'opportunity zones' | Judge hints at letting House lawsuit over Trump tax returns proceed Democrats ramp up oversight efforts over 'opportunity zone' incentive MORE on Wednesday, marking the second day of talks after the two first spoke on the phone Tuesday about raising statutory spending caps and the debt ceiling.
Pelosi has been guarded about saying whether the renewed talks will lead to a breakthrough after negotiations between Democrats, GOP leadership and the White House stalled last month.
Asked if progress was made during Tuesday's phone call with Mnuchin, Pelosi told The Associated Press, "We'll see."
“It’s possible. I don’t know. We’ll see what they come back with," she said when asked about the prospects of a deal coming together this month.
In addition to the Pelosi-Mnuchin talks, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell protege emerges as Kentucky's next rising star Hillicon Valley: Schumer questions Army over use of TikTok | Federal court rules against random searches of travelers' phones | Groups push for election security funds in stopgap bill | Facebook's new payment feature | Disney+ launch hit by glitches McConnell, GOP leaders say they won't be watching House impeachment hearing MORE (R-Ky.) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyHouse Republicans prepare for public impeachment proceedings with mock hearing Live updates on impeachment: Schiff fires warning at GOP over whistleblower Congress hunts for path out of spending stalemate MORE (R-Calif.) are expected to meet later Wednesday with Mnuchin, acting White House chief of staff Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneyTrump threatening to fire Mulvaney: report The Hill's 12:30 Report: Dems, GOP dig in for public impeachment hearings Mulvaney drops plans to file lawsuit on impeachment testimony MORE and acting Office of Management and Budget Director Russ Vought — the three officials who have been leading the negotiations for the White House.
The meeting comes as lawmakers attempt to kick-start negotiations and move a package that would increase the spending caps and raise the debt ceiling before August. That timeline leaves little room for negotiations, with House lawmakers scheduled to leave town in late July and the Senate slated to adjourn by Aug. 2.
Congress is juggling multiple funding deadlines: Lawmakers have until the end of September to pass a bill that would fund the government and prevent another shutdown. They also might need to raise the debt ceiling as soon as early September, an anxiety-raising schedule because lawmakers won't return from the August recess until Sept. 9.
They also need to get a deal to increase the defense and nondefense spending caps. Without an agreement, steep across-the-board cuts will be implemented in January.
Senate Republicans signaled on Tuesday that they viewed this week as crucial to getting Democrats and the White House talking again if they were going to get the prospects of a deal, that would tackle both the budget and the debt ceiling, back on track.
"We'll be trying to reconvene that soon because the House is only in for three more weeks and time is running out. And if we're going to avoid having an either short or long-term CR [continuing resolution] or either a short or long-term debt ceiling increase, it's time that we got serious on a bipartisan basis," McConnell told reporters during a weekly press conference.