Senate GOP plans July debt ceiling vote

Senate Republicans are planning for a July vote to raise the debt ceiling, according to senators and aides.

Though the Treasury Department has said that Congress can likely wait until September to avoid default, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his lieutenants are increasingly disposed to clearing the Senate’s plate as much as possible before heading home for August recess. That would also likely mean decoupling the debt ceiling from a potential government shutdown fight in September.

It’s not clear what exactly such a bill would look like, but members of both parties are interested in a broad spending deal that would avoid the blunt budget cuts of sequestration. A clean debt ceiling increase may be a problem for a GOP majority filled with fiscal conservatives.

"I’d like to see that done earlier," said Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn of Texas when asked about lifting the debt ceiling in September. "I’m hoping there will be a negotiation on spending caps. Maybe it will be part of that."

Republican Senate staffers were provided new schedule guidance on Monday laying out that the preferred debt deadline is before the August break.

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