A group of Democratic and Republican House members led by U.S. Reps. John Katko and Stephanie Murphy is urging congressional leadership to reach a budget agreement before lawmakers leave Washington next week. 

In a letter sent to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, nearly 30 members explained why a budget agreement, which would include a debt ceiling hike, is needed. 

Congressional leaders and the White House are negotiating a budget deal. Politico reported Wednesday that the sides are closer to an agreement, but it's not final yet. 

Reports indicate it would be a two-year budget agreement and it would raise the debt ceiling. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has said the existing debt limit will be reached in September. 

Katko, R-Camillus, and Murphy, a Florida Democrat, wrote that Congress "must take swift and deliberate steps" to fund the government, address the debt ceiling and set budgetary spending caps. 

"Failure to act on these items would be unacceptable for our constituents and carry devastating consequences for the physical and economic security of our nation," the members added.

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One reason members of Congress are calling for quick action is the sequestration triggers that are in place. Automatic spending cuts would occur if an agreement isn't reached. The cuts to spending, including defense appropriations, would "disrupt the most essential functions of our government and drastically increase economic uncertainty," Katko and his colleagues wrote. 

The bipartisan coalition is hopeful that an agreement will reached before the August recess. The House is scheduled to be in session through July 26. 

Katko, Murphy and their colleagues hope that, like their letter, the budget negotiations will be a bipartisan endeavor. 

"Given the sweeping implications of these budgetary considerations, every effort must be made to avoid an outcome in which political brinkmanship threatens the well-being of the American people," they wrote. 

The letter was signed by several New Yorkers, including U.S. Reps. Anthony Brindisi, Chris Collins, Antonio Delgado and Elise Stefanik. 

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Online producer Robert Harding can be reached at (315) 282-2220 or robert.harding@lee.net. Follow him on Twitter @robertharding.


Online producer and politics reporter

I have been The Citizen's online producer and politics reporter since December 2009. I'm the author of the Eye on NY blog and write the weekly Eye on NY column that appears every Sunday in the print edition of The Citizen and online at auburnpub.com.