Debt and deficit measures are still the most important issues facing Congress as the August 2 deadline looms for raising the debt limit. While everyone seems to be at an impasse with everyone else on almost every issue, a short-term deal seems increasingly likely as a means of placating the bond market without either side sacrificing too much.

The House is in session all week, with mostly budget and debt legislation on the agenda, but also what could turn out to be a very contentious FAA reauthorization. The Senate will address the Military Construction Appropriations Bill and a confirmation vote. However, there are several hearings and markups of note. The future of natural gas, the Yellowstone spill, and the USDA╩╝s REAP program will all be discussed or examined this week away from the floor. These hearings will ultimately serve as a platform for each party to either attack spending or sing the praises of renewable energy.