The Senate did manage to pass an agreement to increase the debt ceiling this afternoon, which President Obama quickly signed. Alex Bolton, senior staff writer for The Hill newspaper, talked with WAMU anchor Pat Brogan about what comes next on Capitol Hill.
Despite lawmakers on both sides of the aisle claiming a victory in the negotiations, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi was not pleased with the deal, and that may not bode well for the committee's work coming up.
"The leader probably most disappointed with this package is probably Nancy Pelosi," Bolton says. "That's an indication that Republicans kind of came out ahead in this deal, at least from the perspective of liberal Democrats."
The lawmakers promptly left on August recess after passing the deal, and when they get back, Bolton expects that Democrats will try to push a jobs-heavy agenda.
"The problem is, there just isn't money to do anything," Bolton says. "And after cutting $917 billion up front in this deficit reduction deal, it's going to be tough coming up with money for green jobs and infrastructure investment."
The agreement creates a special committee to recommend a $1.5 trillion deficit reduction package by the end of the year.
Come September, House and Senate leaders will also have to appoint the 12 members of the "super committee" charged with finding a way to reduce the federal deficit by $1.5 trillion, but the prospects of them reaching an agreement are still unclear.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said today he planned to pick someone that has an open mind, and he urged his Republican colleagues to do the same.
Pelosi seems unlikely to get on board with that plan, however, which could mean another showdown in a few months' time:
"Nancy Pelosi drew a tougher line, saying it's a value of House Democrats to defend entitlement programs," Bolton says. "And she is not likely to appoint anyone who's willing to cut Medicare and Social Security."