ANALYSIS: Congress Punts Its Most Consequential Tasks To December With Little Plan And Worsening Gridlock

Congress in the past two weeks managed to avoid a government shutdown and a nationwide debt default amid one of the busiest legislative months in recent memory, but their last-minute deals set up a December that could be especially painful.

While lawmakers avoided a shutdown by mere hours in September, their short-term funding bill only keeps the government open until Dec. 3, giving Congress less than two months to agree on a spending package for the next fiscal year. Congress also struck a deal to lift the ceiling by $480 billion in October and sent a bill to President Joe Biden’s desk Tuesday, but like the government funding, the higher cap only covers expenses until sometime in December, frustrating lawmakers.

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