- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 24, 2017

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan said Thursday that Congress will blow past the Sept. 30 deadline for approving new funding for 2018, saying the government will need to operate off stop-gap spending for several months.

Mr. Ryan also insisted Congress will meet its deadline to raise the federal government’s borrowing limit, saying he was “really not that worried” about it, and dismissing fears of a default on obligations.

“We will pass a debt limit increase before we reach the debt limit,” the Wisconsin Republican said in an interview with CNBC.

He brushed aside questions about dissonance with President Trump, who earlier in the day had chided Mr. Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for not getting a debt increase done as part of a veterans’ benefits bill last month.

Mr. Ryan said congressional Republicans and Mr. Trump are on the same page on the big issues, including tax reform.

He acknowledged a packed schedule coming up when Congress returns to Washington in September, with just weeks to go before the beginning of the new fiscal year on Oct. 1.

He said that schedule is one reason why they’ll need to pass a short-term bill, saying that the Senate has too much work backed up to be able to get a full-year funding bill done in time.

Instead, they’ll turn to a stop-gap bill, as Congress has done repeatedly in recent years, limping to future deadlines.

It’s unclear what that means for Mr. Trump’s proposed border wall, which the president has said he wants to see funded in the 2018 bills.

• Stephen Dinan can be reached at sdinan@washingtontimes.com.

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