The “fiscal cliff” debate may be over, but Congress’s battles are just beginning. In coming months, the new Congress that will take office Thursday will face a series of deadlines that will force lawmakers to confront the same issues they failed to resolve with Tuesday’s late night vote.
• Around the end of February: Extraordinary measures put in place by the Treasury Department to extend the nation’s $16.4 trillion legal borrowing limit will be exhausted. Congress must agree to raise the debt ceiling or allow the nation to default on its spending obligations. Republicans have said they will insist on major spending concessions before they agree to raise the limit again, but President Obama has said he considers the action to be Congress’s fiduciary responsibility and he will not be drawn into such talks.