Capitol Correspondence - 01.24.23

Congress Is Back and Grappling with Debt Ceiling

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After a weeks-long recess, the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate are back in Washington this week. The top priority for negotiations between congressional Democrats and Republicans will be how to raise the debt ceiling now that the United States has reached its existing borrowing cap of $31.4 trillion.

The political dynamics in play are making a showdown of the debt ceiling increasingly likely. House Republicans have adopted new rules that make it more difficult to raise the debt limit and will likely demand spending cuts to offset any expansion of the debt ceiling. However, the White House has said that it will oppose any attempts to tie spending cuts to the raising of the debt ceiling. The severity of the negotiations over the debt ceiling means that it will take center stage in Washington in the coming weeks.

Congress is also still finishing work on completing its committee assignments, with Democrats making formal nominations for members to fill in remaining seats on the committees that Republicans have recently finalized. For more on the importance of committee assignments in the 118th Congress, check out the latest podcast episode from McDermott Plus.