White House officials and Republican negotiators are continuing to move closer to an agreement to raise the debt ceiling while also capping spending, two sources familiar with the matter said late Thursday.
The agreement is not yet finalized and there are a series of other outstanding issues beyond spending levels, with both sides especially far apart on work requirements for social safety net programs.
Under the potential agreement, the debt ceiling would be raised for two years while also capping federal spending — except for defense and veterans spending — for the same period, two sources familiar with the negotiations said.
A separate source who's also familiar with negotiations said the two sides are still working out details on the length of the spending caps deal, which Democrats have insisted should only last for as long as a debt ceiling raise.
Based on current discussions, non-defense discretionary spending levels would be cut to a level slightly below funding levels for the current fiscal year.
Discretionary spending would be allowed to rise by 1% in the second year of the agreement, the sources said.
Both sides still remain far apart on work requirements with Republicans still looking to add them to Medicaid, SNAP and TANF.
GOP negotiator Garret Graves told CNN Thursday evening that progress is slow, voicing frustration with the White House over key aspects of the negotiations, especially work requirements.
The White House “continues to prioritize paying people to not work over paying Social Security benefits and Medicare benefits, their efforts actually put in jeopardy those very benefits to senior citizens like Medicare and Social Security because they're refusing to negotiate on work requirements,” he said.