Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Wednesday sent House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) a letter explaining that her best estimate is that the United States government will default on its debt sometime in October. Yellen noted the timeline remains uncertain, but the letter will likely raise the stakes on the debate within Congress over whether to raise the debt ceiling.
Later while addressing reporters, Pelosi reaffirmed that Democrats want to do just that — "It has to happen," she said — and she said they will pursue "several options" to do so despite Republican opposition. However, that list, according to the speaker, does not include putting a debt limit lift in a massive budget proposal that congressional Democrats hope to pass via reconciliation without Republican votes.
The GOP, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), has insisted Democrats use reconciliation if they really want to raise the ceiling, but it seems like Democratic leadership is still determined to bring the matter to a bipartisan vote and force their colleagues' hands.