Seth Wenig / AP

Transcripts released Thursday of Federal Reserve meetings in 2011 underscore a potentially serious conflict between President Trump and Congressional Republicans: the debt ceiling.

The old claim: The Treasury and Fed said they couldn't prioritize interest payments to the U.S. government's creditors, ahead of other obligations like salaries or entitlement transfers, if the debt limit wasn't raised.

The truth: They were planning to prioritize interest payments to creditors.

The transcripts are vindication for Republican budget hawks who argued that refusing to raise the debt ceiling would not put the country at risk of default, at least when it came to global bond markets.

Why it matters: The Treasury Department will have to start resorting to "extraordinary measures" to avoid breaching the debt ceiling in March. Those maneuvers will be exhausted roughly six months later, but President-elect Trump has shown little interest in the magnitude of belt-tightening that was demanded of Obama in exchange for a ceiling hike.

Go deeper

The pandemic real estate market

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

It's not just emotional buying, real estate agents say: There are smart and strategic reasons that Americans of all ages, races and incomes are moving away from urban centers.

Why it matters: Bidding wars, frantic plays for a big suburban house with a pool, buying a property sight unseen — they're all part of Americans' calculus that our lives and lifestyles have been permanently changed by coronavirus and that we'll need more space (indoors and out) for the long term.

35 mins ago - Health

Coronavirus cases are falling, but don't get too comfortable

Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Map: Andrew Witherspoon, Danielle Alberti, Sara Wise/Axios

America's coronavirus outbreak is slowing down after a summer of explosive growth.

By the numbers: The U.S. is averaging roughly 52,000 new cases per day — still a lot of cases, but about 10.5% fewer than it was averaging last week.

36 mins ago - Health

We're doing a lot less coronavirus testing

Data: The COVID Tracking Project; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The U.S. is cutting back on coronavirus testing. Nationally, the number of tests performed each day is about 17% lower than it was at the end of July, and testing is also declining in hard-hit states.

Why it matters: This big reduction in testing has helped clear away delays that undermined the response to the pandemic. But doing fewer tests can also undermine the response to the pandemic.