The flurry of activity in Congress will not wane soon.

Lawmakers have spent their early fall jumping among high-stakes agenda items. The breakneck pace will continue in the coming months, and Washington’s ability to meet several upcoming deadlines could hold implications for the country for years to come.

The first target comes Oct. 18, the estimated date when the U.S. will no longer be able to pay its bills unless Congress raises or suspends the debt ceiling, according to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. Democratic leaders also want to pass both a bipartisan infrastructure bill and a larger plan to invest in the social safety net before major transportation funding programs expire at the end of October.

If Congress fails to address the debt ceiling, it could roil financial markets, raise the cost of borrowing and increase the threat of a first-ever U.S. default. That worst-case scenario could cost the country jobs and damage the global economy.

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