Pelosi, Mnuchin ‘burning up phone lines more than teenyboppers’ as debt ceiling increase push looms

With a fight over increasing the debt ceiling looming in Washington, D.C., and with Speaker  Nancy Pelosi controlling the purse strings, you can be sure she’s looking for ways to politicize events.

When it comes to the national debt, the only thing as sure as the reality that it will go up is that the two parties will battle to sway the public’s perception of whose fault it is, but Fox News is citing “urgent” calls between Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin to report that there may be trouble on the horizon.

“House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin have become phone friends of late. They’ve burned up the lines more than teenyboppers singing “Telephone Hour” in Bye Bye Birdie,” Fox News’s Chad Pergram wrote.

According to Pergram, Pelosi is not too fond of acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney and prefers to work with Mnuchin on the debt ceiling issue.

Pelosi and Mnuchin reportedly spoke last Wednesday night about an urgent need to raise the debt limit, twice on Thursday and again midday Friday. This was followed by a 12-minute chat Saturday night and an exchange of letters.

All of which indicates there’s a problem.

More from Fox News:

The problem is that Mnuchin is imploring Congress to raise the debt ceiling right away – before lawmakers abandon Washington for most of August and the traditional summer recess. That’s because few in Washington paid close attention to this issue until a few days ago. That’s when Mnuchin suggested the government could “run out of cash in early September, before Congress reconvenes.” Government reserves will soon dwindle to about $250 billion. The accelerated timetable is partly due to diminished revenues, attributable to the new tax law.

 

In her missive to Mnuchin, Pelosi insisted on a deal on “spending priorities,” which is a ploy to lift mandatory spending caps Congress imposed in a 2011.

With President Trump stressing a need for more defense spending, Pelosi seems to be willing to give up a little while pushing for “parity,” which takes the form of a bump for all non-defense programs, Fox News reported.

The two sides have been talking for months about a possible two-year agreement on the spending caps and the debt limit and this possible stalemate comes after Senate Majority Leader Mithch McConnell said in May that they could be hours away from an agreement.

But that was then and this is now.

The spending cap issue could wait until January, and a senior Congressionalsource told Fox News that a short-term extension of the debt limit may have to happen, but Pelosi is reportedly now coupling these issues.

All of which suggests Democrats have developed what they see as a winning narrative in forcing a government shutdown — at least until Trump starts tweeting.

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Tom Tillison

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