IN THIS ISSUE:

1. Lawmakers Reach Surprise Budget/Debt Ceiling Deal

2. So, What’s in the New Budget/Debt Ceiling Deal?

3. What Else You Need to Know About the Budget Deal

4. Conclusions: It’s “Same Old, Same Old” in Washington

Overview: OOPS!

I wrote most of this E-Letter over the weekend and finished it yesterday morning. In it, I predicted that the ongoing political battle over raising the debt ceiling would continue until the last minute – sometime in September or October – when the government would run out of money and risk a dangerous default on its debt. In recent years, that’s what almost always happened.

Yet late yesterday afternoon – after my E-Letter had been proofed and was all ready to send – news broke that President Trump and congressional leaders struck a surprise deal to not only finalize a two-year federal budget but also to suspend the debt ceiling until July 2021.

OOPS!

Whenever I write my E-Letter or Blog in advance, and make predictions, I run the risk that something unexpected will happen, and I’ll be wrong and have to rewrite the piece all over. It doesn’t happen often, but in this case, I had to start all over at the last minute. I started rewriting it at about 6:00 last night. Scramble time!

Rather than switch to an entirely different topic at the last minute, I’ll summarize the highlights of this unexpected and highly unlikely agreement between President Trump, Speaker Pelosi and other congressional leaders, which was tentatively struck late yesterday. It still must be voted on, but it looks likely to pass – despite the fact that it increases federal spending significantly.