— This is the script of CNBC's news report for China's CCTV on December 7, Thursday.
The three-month U.S. debt-ceiling reprieve is reaching to an end later this week, putting investors in Treasury bills and other short-term debt on notice.
The September legislation that suspended the limit and funded the government is set to expire on December 8th.
Now, House Republicans have a plan to pass a two-week extension to keep the government open. But, as lawmakers previously focused on tax-cut bills, the debt-ceiling issue was not viewed as the priority somehow until now.
The risk is, if the US fails to reach an agreement on the debt ceiling, the government could at some point fail to make timely payments on its obligations.
Right now, the clock is ticking -- with only two days to avert government shutdown by passing a spending bill, any day that Congress doesn't move closer to a solution is a day it moves closer to a shutdown.
Now, here may come the political negotiations again.
The biggest point of contention appears to be over immigration.
Earlier this year, Trump canceled an Obama-era protection policy for Dreamers, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA. The president's order gave Congress until March 2018 to pass a bill with DACA-like protections. Republicans have signaled a willingness to address the issue in a spending bill later this year, but not in the short-term fix that must pass this week.
Democrats say they won't sign on to any spending bill that doesn't address the fate of unauthorized immigrants who are losing their protections from deportation and work permits over the next two years.
While markets expect the debt ceiling discussion to be reinstated, most investors anticipate that the Treasury can avoid a breach of the borrowing cap -- probably that's why we saw markets overnight in the U.S. were relatively calm.. dollar gave up some of its earlier gains and major indexes traded mixed after Trump said, quote, government shutdown 'could happen' Saturday.
Congress has until midnight on Friday to approve a short-term spending package to keep the government open. Despite majorities in both chambers, Republicans will need Democratic votes to pass the bill.
CNBC's Qian Chen, reporting from Singapore.