What's happening in Congress right now will have a big impact on the economy and American families

Biden and Democratic leaders are trying to figure out how bold they can go. Right now at least two moderate Democratic senators, Joe Manchin III of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, want a much more modest proposal. Foto: Washington Post/Melina Mara

WASHINGTON - What's happening right now in Congress has major implications for the fate of the U.S. economy - and many Americans' pocketbooks.

There are four big things happening at once, which is what makes this so complicated and consequential. First of all, Congress needed to approve a budget so the federal government can keep operating after Sept. 30. Lawmakers did that Thursday, avoiding a government shutdown by only a few hours. The second issue is the "debt ceiling." If that isn't lifted by Oct. 18, the government will run out of money and will not be able to pay all of its bills, a scary situation for bondholders, Social Security recipients, military members and more. Republican are refusing to help lift the debt ceiling...

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