WASHINGTON (AP) – Congress’ midsummer to-do list may take until Christmas to clear.
What’s at the top?
Maintaining the flow of highway dollars. Easing automatic budget cuts to the Pentagon and domestic agencies. Renewing tax breaks. Raising the debt limit.
A misstep at any of several points could trigger a partial government shutdown.
All that unfinished business would be a time-consuming challenge in a well-oiled capital.
But Washington has a case of chronic dysfunction, meaning there’s little sense of urgency and the real potential for policymakers to end up doing the bare minimum – namely keeping the government on autopilot and avoiding an economy-rattling debt default.
An eventual repeat of a government shutdown is a real possibility, though a short-term government-wide funding measure is likely in September to buy time.
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