President Donald Trump continues to push the envelope on partisanship with the reported roundup of illegal immigrants as early as this weekend. As this takes place, tensions are growing over the need to increase the debt ceiling, which if not accomplished, could pose serious problems for federal government finances this fall. While the Treasury Department has yet to notify Congress of a “drop dead” date for the ceiling raise, there are reports lower federal inflows may be accelerating the date earlier than mid-October.

In Congress, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said it would be “unthinkable” for the US government to default on a payment because of the failure of Congress to increase the debt ceiling (see page 6).

Meanwhile, House of Representatives speaker Nancy Pelosi has been dealing with internecine fighting within the Democratic caucus and will need to use all her political skills to get the votes together to increase the debt ceiling, always a tough vote. The Democrats are likely to need assurances from the Senate Republicans and President Trump that the spending caps called for under the sequester provisions of the Budget Control Act will be lifted for domestic spending and not just defense spending. Without such a deal it will be a real challenge fo...

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