Evan Vucci / AP

Last Wednesday, Treasury Secretary Mnuchin met with Republican leaders from the House and Senate, including Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan.

  • What everyone can agree on: Two sources with direct knowledge of the meeting tell me Mnuchin made it clear he wants the debt ceiling to be raised ahead of any "deadline," as early as before the August recess. (It's no secret that Mnuchin views the debt ceiling as non-negotiable and doesn't want it used as a negotiating tool.)
  • Where the accounts differ: One source told me, "it's not like people laughed when he said before the August recess but the mood was clear that this wasn't something that was ever going to happen." But a source close to Mnuchin says the Secretary heard no rejection of that pre-August timeline and considers it "a viable option."
  • Current timing: Treasury believes it can keep using emergency cash saving measures to avoid breaking the borrowing limit until the early fall.

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Senate Democrats block vote on McConnell's targeted COVID relief bill McConnell urges White House not to strike stimulus deal before election.
  2. Economy: Why the stimulus delay isn't a crisis (yet).
  3. Health: Studies show drop in COVID death rate — The next wave is gaining steam — The overwhelming aftershocks of the pandemic.
  4. Education: Schools haven't become hotspots — San Francisco public schools likely won't reopen before the end of the year.

Senate Democrats block vote on McConnell's targeted COVID relief bill

Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

Senate Democrats on Wednesday blocked a vote on Republicans' $500 billion targeted COVID-19 relief bill, a far less comprehensive package than the $1.8 trillion+ deal currently being negotiated between the Trump administration and House Democrats.

Why it matters: There's little appetite in the Senate for a stimulus bill with a price tag as large as what President Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have been calling for. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-Ky.) "skinny" proposal was mostly seen as a political maneuver, as it had little chance of making it out of the Senate.

The hazy line between politics and influence campaigns

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The recent firestorm over the New York Post’s publication of stories relying on data from a hard drive allegedly belonging to Hunter Biden shows the increasingly hazy line between domestic political “dirty tricks” and a foreign-sponsored disinformation operation.

Why it matters: This haziness could give determined actors cover to conduct influence operations aimed at undermining U.S. democracy through channels that just look like old-fashioned hard-nosed politics.