Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

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

12 mins ago - World

Brazil begins distributing AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine

Containers carrying doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine arrive in Brazil. Photo: Maurio Pimentel/AFP via Getty Images

Brazil on Saturday began distributing the 2 million doses of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine that arrived from India Friday, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: Brazil has the third highest COVID-19 case-count in the world, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The 2 million doses "only scratch the surface of the shortfall," Brazilian public health experts told the AP.

Sullivan speaks with Israel's national security adviser for the first time

Israeli national security adviser Meir Ben Shabbat U.S. Photo: Mazen Mahdi/Getty Images. U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan. Photo: Chandan Khanna/Getty Images

U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan spoke on the phone Saturday with his Israeli counterpart Meir Ben Shabbat, Israeli officials tell Axios.

Why it matters: This is the first contact between the Biden White House and Israeli prime minister's office. During the transition, the Biden team refrained from speaking to foreign governments.

Biden speaks to Mexican president about reversing Trump's "draconian immigration policies"

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. Ismael Rosas/Eyepix Group/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

President Biden told his Mexican counterpart, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, on a phone call Friday that he plans to reverse former President Trump’s “draconian immigration policies.”

The big picture: The Biden administration has already started repealing several of Trump’s immigration policies, including ordering a 100-day freeze on deporting many unauthorized immigrants, halting work on the southern border wall, and reversing plans to exclude undocumented people from being included in the 2020 census.