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Sen. Chuck Schumer, Oct. 6. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced Thursday that Senate Democrats and Republicans have reached an agreement to extend the debt ceiling through early December.

Driving the news: The agreement is to raise the limit by $480 billion, which is what Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen says is needed to get to Dec. 3, a Senate leadership aide told Axios.

Why it matters: The agreement comes less than two weeks before Oct. 18, the date Yellen warned that the U.S. would default on its debt.

What they're saying: "We have reached agreement to extend the debt ceiling through early December, and it’s our hope we can get this done as soon as today," Schumer said on the Senate floor.

  • "This is a positive step forward ... and it gives us some breathing room from the catastrophic default we were approaching because of Senator McConnell's decision to play politics with our economy," White House Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said during a briefing on Thursday.
  • "We've been in close contact with leader Schumer's team, and we will remain so as the bill moves forward and gets to the President's desk."

The big picture: Schumer's announcement comes less than one day after Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) offered Democrats a deal to avoid a government default.

  • McConnell's proposal detailed two options, including the short-term debt limit increase through December, Axios' Alayna Treene reports.
  • The other proposal was to fast-track the suspension of the debt limit using the budget reconciliation process, which Democrats have generally opposed.
  • McConnell said in a statement Wednesday: "We have already made it clear we would assist in expediting the [budget] reconciliation process for stand-alone debt-limit legislation."

Go deeper: McConnell proposes debt limit deal

Editor's note: This story has been updated with new details throughout.

Go deeper

Oct 17, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Congress begins yearend sprint

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The House and Senate face an onslaught of deadlines key to fulfilling members' campaign promises and keeping the government afloat as they return from recess this week.

Why it matters: The next few weeks will be pivotal to enacting President Biden's agenda — and determining how the Democratic Party fares in the midterm elections.

Mike Allen, author of AM
Oct 18, 2021 - Politics & Policy

GOP senator calls for senility test for aging leaders

Photo: "Axios on HBO"

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), a physician, told me during an "Axios on HBO" interview that he favors cognition tests for aging leaders of all three branches of government.

Why it matters: Wisdom comes with age. But science also shows that we lose something. And much of the world is now run by old people — including President Biden, 78 ... Speaker Pelosi, 81 ...  Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, 70 ... and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, 79.

"No-code" miracle for startups

Expand chart
Data: Interactive Advertising Bureau; Table: Axios Visuals

The U.S. has reached a tipping point in its shift from the industrial economy — one that relied on the buildout of hardware — to an information economy that relies on the transfer, storage and implementation of data, according to a new report.

Why it matters: This shift towards a data and information-based economy has allowed more businesses to establish themselves and scale quickly and at a very low cost. As such, the number of jobs created by the commercial internet has more than tripled since 2012.