Remember the fiscal cliff? We may get a replay of that budget brinksmanship this fall — only worse, Politico reports.
Congress narrowly avoided the last cliff — large automatic spending cuts and tax increases that were due to kick in at the beginning of 2013. (Technically, we did actually go over the cliff on Jan. 1, 2013 before Congress passed legislation that day, signed into law by President Obama the next day.)
A similar crunch is coming this fall. Politico’s Burgess Everett and Sarah Ferris write:
“Though Congress avoided a government closure this month — a major bipartisan legislative accomplishment for an institution otherwise devoid of any this year — a quintet of critical deadlines in the early fall will force either a furious round of deal-making or brinkmanship that could have dire effects on the economy.”
To avoid a government shutdown and/or debt default, Congress will have to agree on a funding bill to keep the government running into the new fiscal year that starts Oct. 1, and will need to raise the debt ceiling, now at roughly $19.9 trillion, around the same time — all against a backdrop of a contentious legislative push on health care and tax reform. On top of those must-pass items, Congress will also have to deal with expiring laws, including some governing the Federal Aviation Administration, federal flood insurance and children’s health insurance.
Read the full story at Politico for more on the calculations at play and questions about whether Republicans can successfully steer clear of economic and political disaster, but here’s one takeaway: Enjoy the early part of your summer. August in Washington is going to get very hot!