By Nandita Bose and Jarrett Renshaw
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden and top Republican lawmaker Kevin McCarthy are edging close to a deal on the U.S. debt ceiling, with the parties just $70 billion apart on discretionary spending, according to a person familiar with the talks.
What is likely to emerge will not be a hundreds-page long bill, something that could take lawmakers days to write, read and vote on, but a slimmed-down agreement with a few key numbers, another person briefed on negotiations said.
The expectation is that negotiators will hammer out top line numbers for discretionary spending, including a number for military spending, but leave lawmakers to hammer out the fine details through the normal appropriations process in the months ahead, one of the sources said.
In 2022, U.S. discretionary spending reached $1.7 trillion, accounting for 27% of the overall $6.27 trillion spent, according to federal figures. About half of that was for defense, an area Republicans have said they won’t cut.
The end result would likely just put guardrails on future budget talks, not spell out detailed spending, the source said.
The White House declined to comment.
(Reporting by Jarrett Renshaw and Nandita Bose; Additional reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt; Editing by Heather Timmons and Tim Ahmann)
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