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Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer addresses reporters on Tuesday. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Senate leaders are planning to hold final votes for the week on Tuesday night so members can fly home early for Yom Kippur, three aides familiar with the talks tell Axios.

Why it matters: Senate Democrats, who returned on Monday from their monthlong recess, are planning to leave town one day before Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer's (D-N.Y.) "soft" deadline for the House and Senate committees to finish drafting their portions of the $3.5 trillion infrastructure reconciliation plan.

  • However, many of the committees are still drafting details of the package, such as whether repealing the state and local tax deduction limits (SALT) should be included in the tax portion of the House Ways and Means bill.
  • They also have just over two weeks until the government runs out of money, and are close to the October deadline for when the U.S. is expected to default on its debt unless Congress raises the debt limit. As of now, it’s still unclear how, and when, they plan to do so.

Between the lines: The Senate was already scheduled to have a truncated week.

  • It planned to break ahead of sundown on Wednesday for those celebrating the Jewish holiday.
  • But ensuring the last votes for the week are held on Tuesday means Democrats also can avoid having to answer questions about whether they met the self-imposed Sept. 15 deadline.

What they're saying: Senate Democratic leadership aides insist the plan was never to have the finalized text by Sept. 15 but to have enough text that the caucus could discuss the contents during its weekly lunch meeting Tuesday — which it did.

  • Schumer said Tuesday morning he believes members met his deadline: "Working with our colleagues in the House, we will have met the target date of Sept. 15 set in the Budget Resolution for producing text to review."
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) also praised the committees in a Monday "Dear Colleague" letter, stating that by Wednesday, they will "meet the deadline to submit their legislative proposals to the Budget Committee."

Yes, but: Democrats are far from finalizing the $3.5 trillion bill.

  • They haven't even settled on a final price tag.
  • Moderates like Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) say they won't support such a steep price, while progressives like Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) saying $3.5 trillion is the minimum.

Axios also spoke with several Democratic senators and their aides this week about the Sept. 15 deadline, and they gave wide-ranging answers about what was supposed to happen by Wednesday and whether it had been achieved.

  • The consensus, though, is they have a very long way to go before reaching a final deal.

Go deeper

14 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Democrats propose raising debt ceiling through midterms

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

House and Senate leadership announced on Monday that they plan to attach a proposal to raise the debt ceiling through Dec. 2022 to a short-term, government funding bill. The bill must pass before the end of the month or Congress risks a shutdown.

Why it matters: Democrats are taking a huge risk by trying to force through an increase of the debt limit in its must-pass funding bill. The move is wishful thinking on behalf of Democrats who are hoping they can get at least 10 centrist Republicans to balk, as well as an effort to put Republicans on record opposing it.

Pelosi calls raising the debt ceiling a bipartisan responsibility

Photo: Samuel Corum/Bloomberg via Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) issued a "dear colleague" statement Sunday evening, calling on Congress to act in a bipartisan manner to raise the nation's debt ceiling.

Why it matters: Congress is fast approaching an October deadline to raise the nation's debt ceiling and avoid a government shutdown. But the issue has become a thorny partisan stand-off.

First look: Conservatives' 2022 big target: Tax increases

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Conservative groups are unveiling huge ad-buys going after vulnerable House Democrats over tax increases and other revenue measures in their party's massive infrastructure spending bill, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: President Biden and Democrats have an immense amount of political capital riding on a $3.5 trillion bill facing razor-thin margins in both chambers. Conservatives are running ads targeting the House members who leaders will need to pass the measure.