1. COUNTDOWN

    Budget Deal Looks Unlikely

    J. Scott Applewhite/AP

    Congress is about to leave for its five-week summer vacation, but they still haven’t reached an agreement on spending that would avert a government shutdown in the fall. If they fail to reach a compromise, they’ll have a short window, from September 9 to October 1, to figure things out. Two approaches to fixing the budget were both rejected this week: the first, a Senate bill designed to restore some of the billions cut from housing and transportation by the sequester; the other, a House bill relying on automatic budget cuts to shrink the government. If Congress fails to reach a deal upon their return, the government will shut down October 1.

    Read it at The Washington Post