Good morning, US politics blog readers. The US government is expected to today hit the legal limit on how much debt it can accrue to pay its bills, but the immediate consequences will be more political than economic. The treasury says it should have enough cash on hand to settle bills for everything from interest payments to government workers’ salaries till about June, but Congress will need to agree on increasing the limit if the world’s largest economy is to avoid defaulting on its debt for the first time in its history. Joe Biden and the Democrats want to raise the limit without conditions, but Republicans controlling the House of Representatives say they’ll only agree to do so if spending is cut, to some degree. This will be one of the major political battles of the year, and you can consider today its informal start date.
Here’s what else is happening:
Joe Biden is heading to California’s Santa Cruz county to tour damage done by a series of winter storms, with a speech scheduled for 6pm eastern time.
The House and Senate have no business scheduled, but expect to hear from both parties about the debt limit.
As the cliche goes, all politics is local, even in Washington DC, where city leaders nationwide are gathering for the annual US Conference of Mayors winter meeting.