The Treasury Department began taking special measures to keep paying the government’s bills Thursday as the U.S. bumped up against its borrowing limit, kicking off a potentially lengthy and difficult debate in Congress over raising the debt ceiling.
With the federal government about to run up against the debt limit, which Congress set at roughly $31.4 trillion in 2021, the Treasury Department has said it expects to start deploying so-called extraordinary measures. Those accounting maneuvers, which include suspending investments for certain government accounts, will allow the Treasury to keep paying obligations to bondholders, Social Security recipients and others until at least early June, the department said last week.
That gives lawmakers on Capitol Hill and the Biden administration roughly five months to pass legislation raising or suspending the debt limit.
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