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 PelosiBiden blasts Trump, demands he release transcript of call with foreign leader Pelosi wants to change law to allow a sitting president to be indicted Overnight Health Care — Presented by Partnership for America's Health Care Future — Walmart to stop selling e-cigarettes | Senators press FDA to pull most e-cigarettes immediately | House panel tees up e-cig hearing for next week MORE (D-Calif.) is expected to hold discussions with Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinOvernight Defense: Trump hits Iranian central bank with sanctions | Trump meeting with Ukrainian leader at UN | Trump touts relationship with North Korea's Kim as 'best thing' for US Trump says he's sanctioning Iran's national bank Lawmakers run into major speed bumps on spending bills 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.
 
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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 McConnellOvernight Energy: California, 23 other states sue Trump over vehicle emissions rule | Climate strike protests hit cities across globe | Interior watchdog expands scope of FOIA investigation | Dems accuse officials of burying climate reports Hillicon Valley: Lawmakers say Zuckerberg to 'cooperate' on antitrust probes | Dems see victory after McConnell backs election security funds | Twitter takes down fake pro-Saudi accounts Liberal super PAC launches browser extension replacing 'Mitch McConnell' with 'Moscow Mitch' MORE (R-Ky.) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyClarence Thomas, Joe Manchin, Rudy Giuliani among guests at second state visit under Trump Hillicon Valley: Lawmakers say Zuckerberg to 'cooperate' on antitrust probes | Dems see victory after McConnell backs election security funds | Twitter takes down fake pro-Saudi accounts Lawmakers say Zuckerberg has agreed to 'cooperate' with antitrust probe MORE (R-Calif.) are expected to meet later Wednesday with Mnuchin, acting White House chief of staff Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneyTrump judicial picks face rare GOP opposition Trump administration asks Supreme Court to take up challenge to consumer bureau NOAA chief praises agency scientists after statement backing up Trump tweet 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.