Debt Limit Negotiators Debate Spending Caps to Break Standoff

As negotiators for the White House and House Republican leaders struggle to reach a deal over how to raise the nation’s debt limit, a solution that harks back to old budget fights has re-emerged as a potential path forward: spending caps.

Putting limits on future spending in exchange for raising the $31.4 trillion borrowing cap could be the key to clinching an agreement that would allow Republicans to claim that they secured major concessions from Democrats. It could also allow President Biden to argue that his administration is being fiscally responsible while not caving to Republican demands to roll back any of his primary legislative achievements.

The Biden administration and House Republican leaders have agreed in broad terms to some sort of cap on discretionary federal spending for at least the next two years. But they are hung up on the details of those caps, including how much to spend on discretionary programs in the 2024 fiscal year and beyond, and how to divide that…

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This article was written by Alan Rappeport and Catie Edmondson and originally published on