Pelosi to meet Mnuchin in hopes of deals on debt, spending

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other congressional leaders have arranged to meet with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney next week.

They want to explore an agreement to increase the government's borrowing cap, as well as legislation to stave off a severe round of cuts to agency budgets and the Pentagon.

A spokesman for Pelosi says the two politically nettlesome items won't necessarily be paired together. Both are considered must-do by Pelosi and her powerful Senate GOP counterpart, Mitch McConnell.

Failure to increase the government's debt limit could spark a catastrophic first-ever default on U.S. obligations, while lifting so-called spending "caps" is needed for a successful bipartisan round of spending bills.

Conservative forces inside the White House have resisted the idea of an agreement on spending caps.