4Star Politics: It’s all about priorities, but in D.C., everyone has one

4Star Politics

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Summer break is over and recesses are finished. It’s time to get back to business in Kansas City, and also in Washington, D.C.

FOX4’s John Holt and The Kansas City Star’s Dave Helling are joined by Daniel Desrochers, the Washington, D.C. correspondent for The Kansas City Star to discuss the implications of a $3.5 trillion so-called human infrastructure package on the agenda in D.C.

Lawmakers return to Capitol Hill to face a full agenda.

“We are at the Ides of September, which is always the turning point between the Summer recess really and pretty important discussion on Capitol Hill,” Helling said.

With the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1, one of the first issues facing lawmakers is a decision about whether to increase the debt ceiling.

“U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, who is the minority leader, basically made it clear that he is not going to back down on the debt ceiling,” Desrochers said. “Democrats are gonna have to figure out a way to do this on their own, and the plan has kinda been to see whether or not the Republicans would back down. So, that’s kinda one more headache that they’re definitely going to have to approach, particularly because the date they have to do that, there’s been some floating about whether that’s September, October, November. Seems like it’s closer to September than anything else, so there’s going to be more of a sense of urgency there.”

If lawmakers don’t raise the debt ceiling, there’s a risk that the U.S. won’t be able to pay all of its bills and would default on loans.

Democrats are also struggling to unite on a massive $3.5 trillion budget bill. There is fighting in the party about who wants what, and what should actually be included in the budget.

“They’re seeing this as an opportunity, kinda a once-in-a-generation investment in a democratic wish list of items everywhere from health care to combating climate change,” Desrochers said.

Taxes and how big the spending should be is also a fight between liberal and moderate Democrats. Republicans have said they don’t want anything to do with it.

Democrats don’t have any votes to spare in the Senate and just a few in the House, if they expect to get a bill passed.

FOX4 and The Kansas City Star are partnering to bring you 4Star Politics, a special digital venture with new episodes released Wednesdays at 5 p.m.

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