/Big 4 leaders to meet Tuesday on budget caps, debt limit

Big 4 leaders to meet Tuesday on budget caps, debt limit

Nancy Pelosi and Kevin McCarthy

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (left), House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (right), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer will attend the budget meeting. | Aaron Bernstein-Pool/Getty Images

The four top party leaders will meet on Tuesday morning to begin talks on a potential deal to raise the budget caps, as well as a possible boost to the debt ceiling, according to multiple sources, although any agreement will be hard to reach.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) will attend the session, as well as their top aides.

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Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, Acting Office of Management and Budget Director Russ Vought, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will take the lead for the Trump administration in the negotiations, the sources added.

Without action by Congress and the White House, the Pentagon faces a cut of $71 billion under current law, while domestic programs would be slashed $55 billion.

President Donald Trump has agreed to initiate the negotiation after lobbying from McConnell and McCarthy, who warned Trump that defense spending increases obtained under his presidency would be in jeopardy without a spending caps agreement.

Both GOP leaders and senior Democrats want to avoid a replay of the disastrous 35-day partial government shutdown from earlier this year.

Yet the two sides remain deeply divided over spending priorities, and Democrats are still furious over Trump’s decision to declare a national emergency and divert billions of dollars in Pentagon funding for his border wall along the Southern border. Democrats have sued Trump over the move.

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