As part of a deal reached with Republicans in the Senate to fund the government through September, President Obama had promised to extend federal debt relief through the end of October, and he’d also announced a plan to extend a program called the debt relief program through October.
But the debt agreement has been in limbo for months, with the House of Representatives and Senate unable to agree on a funding measure that could fund the federal government.
Now, Democrats and Republicans are poised to hammer out a deal that will get the U the debt done by the end, at the latest.
The deal will allow for the debt to be forgiven and to pay interest on that debt, though not until after the election.
Republicans, meanwhile, have signaled that they’ll be willing to support any deal that would allow them to get the debt under control.
“We will support any effort to deal with the debt crisis, no matter how painful or unpopular that effort might be,” said House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio.
“The American people deserve better than to have another debt crisis in the United States of America.”
The Senate’s efforts to pass the debt settlement package have been stalled since October, when Democrats threatened to filibuster any agreement that didn’t include the debt forgiveness.
It’s unclear how much of a sticking point the Senate can come up with, since it only has 52 members, not the 60 required to overcome a filibuster.
A Republican aide said the House would need to find another way to pass a measure to keep the government open.
“At this point, we’re just trying to figure out what’s going to work, what’s not going to,” the aide said.
One Republican aide told Politico that the House is working on a bill that would keep the federal debt under $19.9 trillion for five years, while Democrats would only keep it under $18.6 trillion for the next two years.
Democrats and Republicans also are negotiating the terms of what would happen if the debt is raised to more than $20 trillion, but the debt-crisis relief plan isn’t included in that package.
While Democrats have long demanded a debt relief deal, they have struggled to come up at least partially with a solution.
Under the current deal, the federal budget deficit will be reduced to a projected 2.2 percent of gross domestic product by 2023.
Republicans are also demanding that the debt be reduced by $1.4 trillion over the next decade.