Dec. 6, 2021: Return of the debt ceiling drama

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Congress’ holiday season theme of governing by crisis continues this week, as lawmakers return to Washington to address what could be the trickiest issue of the month: the debt ceiling.

House Democratic leaders have discussed adding a provision addressing the debt ceiling to the final National Defense Authorization Act and voting on it as soon as this week, according to a senior Democratic aide. That’s assuming, of course, that compromise NDAA language is ironed out between the two chambers. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has privately signaled to Majority Leader Chuck Schumer that he could go along with this idea, which would end their months-long stalemate.

But, there are serious questions about whether this defense-debt ceiling sandwich could pass the House. And much of that is because of one man who might typically be aligned with McConnell, but on this issue appears opposed: Kevin McCarthy.

Raghu Manavalan is the Host of POLITICO's Playbook.
Jenny Ament is the Senior Producer of POLITICO Audio.

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