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Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer talks with communications director Matt House following weekly policy luncheon at Capitol yesterday. Photo: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

It seems increasingly likely that a debt-ceiling increase will be attached to a budget deal that Senate negotiators from both sides hope to announce as soon as today.

The big picture: This means DACA will likely be dealt with — or not — on its own terms and not used as a hostage in a government shutdown stare-down.

  •  The two-year deal I expect McConnell and Schumer to strike: busting the budget caps on defense and domestic spending, raising the debt limit, plus funding for disaster relief and funding for community health centers.
  • Why it matters: That would be a pretty good deal for President Trump. Sure, the fiscal conservatives will hate it, but Trump has never been one of them.
  • The deal would expose the gap between Schumer and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi: She wanted to hitch the immigration deal to the spending fight, while Schumer appears OK with allowing it to be separate.

How it's playing: WashPost lead story: "Senators say deal on budget is in sight" ... Wall Street Journal A1: "Senators Close In on a Budget Deal."

Go deeper

27 mins ago - Health

COVID-19 drives smell loss awareness, research

A health worker carries out an olfactory test outside Buenos Aires. Photo: Alejandro Pagni/AFP via Getty Images

The pandemic has thrust a relatively unknown ailment, anosmia — or smell loss — into the international spotlight.

Why it matters: Researchers hope smell testing becomes as standard as the annual flu shot, helping to detect early signs of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
2 hours ago - Health

Why we need to know COVID's origins

The WHO's headquarters in Geneva. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images

Geopolitical tensions are foiling efforts to get to the bottom of how COVID-19 originated.

Why it matters: Insights into how COVID-19 began can help us prevent future pandemics — especially if it involved any kind of leak or accident at a virology lab.

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