National debt

Senate passes $2.7 trillion budget deal

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The Senate voted 67-28 to pass a $2.7 trillion budget deal Thursday that would suspend the debt ceiling through 2021, sending the package to President Trump's desk after the House passed it last week.

Why it matters: The Congressional Budget Office projected that the national debt would reach "unprecedented levels" in the next 30 years should laws remain the same. It exceeded $22 trillion in February, and the federal deficit has grown 23% this fiscal year.

How Robert Mueller shielded Trump's budget deal

Illustration of Trump watching TV
Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Before President Trump agreed to support a 2-year budget deal that would inflate the national debt and allow $320 billion in new spending, he monitored Fox News for signs of rebellion. But instead of bringing up fiscal responsibility and the national debt, all his favorite hosts were talking about Robert Mueller.

Behind the scenes: Trump liked what he saw (or rather, what he didn't see), according to two administration officials familiar with the president's thinking.