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Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

The Issue:

Congress faces an October deadline to raise the debt limit. In a tweet on Wednesday President Trump blamed Republican Congressional leaders for making it a "mess."

Why it matters:

Failing to raise the debt-limit would be unprecedented. The Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) said the impact would be "chaotic" as the U.S. Treasury picks payments to make based on available cash, meaning some things, like Social Security benefits, Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements, and even salaries for soldiers might not be paid on time. A 2015 report by Congressional investigators said the impact on financial markets would be "sudden and severe."

The facts:

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has told Congress the debt limit must be raised by Sept. 29. The debt limit was suspended until March of this year, and since then the Treasury has been using so-called "extraordinary measures" to meet its obligations. Those will be exhausted sometime in October, though the exact date is unknown.

Congressional leaders and President Tump's advisers have said there will be no problem raising the debt limit. But any action will require support from Democrats and some House Republicans have in the past used the debt-limit debate to call for spending cuts.

Go deeper

Updated 9 hours ago - World

U.S. airstrike kills senior al-Qaeda leader in Syria, DOD says

A displacement camp near the village of Qah in Syria's northwestern Idlib province. Photo: Ahmad Al-Atrash/AFP via Getty Images

A U.S. airstrike in northwest Syria on Friday killed senior al-Qaeda leader Abdul Hamid al-Matar, U.S. Central Command said in a statement.

Why it matters: Syria serves as a "safe haven" for the extremist group to plan external operations, according to U.S. Army Maj. John Rigsbee.

Updated 15 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Giuliani associate Lev Parnas convicted of campaign finance crimes

Lev Parnas, a former associate of then-President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Florida businessman Lev Parnas was convicted Friday on charges of conspiracy to make foreign contributions to political campaigns, according to multiple outlets.

Why it matters: Prosecutors said Parnas, then an associate of former President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, funneled over $150,000 from a Russian businessman into U.S. campaigns as part of an effort to land licenses in the U.S.'s legal cannabis industry.

Supreme Court agrees to hear challenges to Texas abortion law

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear two cases challenging Texas' abortion law, which bans the procedure as soon as six weeks into pregnancy, but left the law in place in the meantime.

Why it matters: The court is moving extraordinarily fast on the Texas cases, compressing into just a few days a process that normally takes months. And that schedule means the court will take up Texas' ban a month before it hears another major abortion case — a challenge to Mississippi's own 2018 ban on abortions after 15 weeks.