Raise the Roof—Or Raze It?

Good afternoon from Capitol Hill, where progressive groups led by ShutdownDC forced cars to idle across Washington this morning to promote, among other things, action on climate change.

Raise the Roof

When debt ceiling talks start up in Congress, the collective eye roll from staffers, reporters, and members of Congress is so large that some say it’s measurable on the Richter scale. 

We’ve written about the debt limit before, and the story this time around does not stray too far from the typical outline: The two parties are fighting over how Congress will ultimately increase the debt to avoid a catastrophic credit default. 

Earlier this year, Republican lawmakers initially refused to give their votes for raising the debt ceiling, arguing Democrats should have to do it on their own through the budget reconciliation process. Democrats refused, culminating in a last-minute agreement to raise the limit for two months. The conflict is back in the spotlight: Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen wrote to Congress in November that December 15 is the date the country could begin to default on its debt, although the Treasury Department’s measures could last longer than that in practice.

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