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With the relationship between President Trump and GOP leaders in Congress deteriorating, chances have risen for both a government shutdown and a failure for the United States to increase its debt limit. The timing of these very different issues — the government is funded through the end of September and the debt needs to be raised sometime in October — has led to some confusion.

Why it matters:

When these issues have come up before, conservative Republicans have threatened to vote against raising the debt limit unless the increase was matched by spending cuts, so Democratic votes were required to help Republican leaders push the bills through. But the failure to act on either would have vastly different consequences.

A government shutdown might mean a temporary inconvenience — an unplanned furlough or a botched trip to Yellowstone — but a failure to raise the debt limit would be a catastrophe for global finance.

The facts:

The government can only stay open and operating as long as it has the funding to do so. Congress reached a deal back in April to keep the government funded through the end of September, but Trump has threatened to block any spending bill this time around that doesn't include funding for his border wall. The last shutdown in 2013 lasted 16 days and shut down national parks and monuments, delayed tax refunds, and held up government loans to businesses and homeowners. But "essential" government operations, like the military and air traffic control, continued.

The U.S. Treasury has been using "extraordinary measures" to avoid breaching the debt limit since March. Those efforts won't last for long in October, though the exact date is uncertain. When that day comes, the government won't be able to pay all its bills. (Here's our Facts Matter on the debt limit specifically.) Failing to raise or suspend the debt limit would be unprecedented.

Go deeper

"Atmospheric river" swings Northern California from drought to flood

Satellite view of the bomb cyclone swirling off the coast of the Pacific Northwest and the atmospheric river affecting California on Oct. 24. Photo: CIRA/RAMMB

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are delivering historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest — triggering widespread power outages and flooding.

Why it matters: The strong atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, is causing Northern California to whiplash from drought to flood.

“You blew it”: GOP activist turns on corporations over vaccine mandates

The chairman of the American Conservative Union said on "Axios on HBO" he accepts "Joe Biden is my president, and I want him to succeed," but predicted Republicans retake the House and Senate in 2022 — with greater than 50% odds Donald Trump runs in 2024.

The big picture: In a joint interview with his wife, Mercedes, Matt Schlapp also refused to share their vaccination status. And he told corporate America "you blew it" by embracing vaccine mandates and liberal social stances that have alienated GOP voters and politicians.

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Pelosi expects “billionaire’s tax” to pay for Biden social spending

Photo: Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Sunday she expects the chamber to pass the bipartisan infrastructure plan by week’s end, and alternatives to corporate tax hikes and a “billionaires tax” will be used to finance President Biden’s promised expansion to the social safety net.

Why it matters: Pelosi’s comments come as House and Senate leaders try to wrap up a deal. What will get cut — and how the remainder will be paid — are linchpins to a final agreement.