Top leaders in both parties reached a long-sought deal on Saturday to avoid an unprecedented government default, announcing an agreement on a plan to lift the debt ceiling for two years and apply new caps on federal spending over the same duration.

To get there, negotiators had to iron out their differences on a small but crucial list of outstanding issues that had dogged the talks in recent days, including lower spending levels, new work requirements for social benefit programs and permitting reforms to expedite approval of energy infrastructure projects — three Republican demands that were opposed by most Democrats. 

The impasse became so entrenched Saturday evening that President Biden and Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who had no plans to speak, staged a break-the-glass phone call in an 11th-hour effort to break the stalemate. 

McCarthy said in brief remarks at the Capitol that there’s still some work left to do, but he expects to post the legislative text on Sunday, and stage a floor vote the following Wednesday. ... Read More: The Hill