Treasury says hitting debt ceiling on Monday

WASHINGTON Mon Dec 31, 2012 5:54pm EST

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Treasury said it would hit a legal limit on borrowing on Monday but was launching new measures to keep the nation from defaulting on its debt.

A Treasury official said the federal government was hitting its $16.4 trillion ceiling on borrowing.

The government is facing a crunch on the debt ceiling because the issue has become tangled up in talks to avoid some $600 billion in tax hikes and spending cuts due to begin in early January. Failing to raise the debt ceiling could cause the government to default on its debt.

To cut government spending and keep the government from going over the debt ceiling, the government will suspend some investments in pension and health benefit funds for federal workers beginning on Monday, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said in a letter to congressional leaders.

The suspension of the investments is part of a series of measures announced last week to keep the country from defaulting on its debt.

Normally, these measures would buy the Treasury about two months before hitting the debt ceiling, the Treasury has said. But a series of planned tax hikes and spending cuts due to take effect in early January could give Treasury further time if they take effect as scheduled, Geithner said last week.

Many analysts believe the measures available to the Treasury can stave that date off into late February.

The U.S. Congress typically authorizes government borrowing in a two-stage process, first drafting plans to spend more than it raises in tax revenues. Every few years, it raises a limit on government borrowing to accommodate annual deficits, a process that this year has become ensnared by the contentious budget talks in Washington.

(Reporting by Jason Lange; Editing by Will Dunham and Cynthia Osterman)

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Comments (3)
Domsayshi wrote:
And nobody calls it stealing.
The money they are not “reinvesting” belongs to my retirement. It is not theirs. They took it and kept it.
The debt ceiling was hit. They had no money. They can not borrow. And so they stole.

Dec 31, 2012 7:28pm EST  --  Report as abuse
hairy2xs wrote:
It is high time for me to put an end to your sitting in this place, which you have dishonored by your contempt of all virtue, and defiled by your practice of every vice; ye are a factious crew, and enemies to all good government; ye are a pack of mercenary wretches, and would like Esau sell your country for a mess of pottage, and like Judas betray your God for a few pieces of money. Is there a single virtue now remaining amongst you? Is there one vice you do not possess? Ye have no more religion than my horse; gold is your God; which of you have not barter’d your conscience for bribes? Is there a man amongst you that has the least care for the good of the Commonwealth? Ye sordid prostitutes have you not defil’d this sacred place, and turn’d the Lord’s temple into a den of thieves, by your immoral principles and wicked practices? Ye are grown intolerably odious to the whole nation; you were deputed here by the people to get grievances redress’d, are yourselves gone! So! Take away that shining bauble there, and lock up the doors. In the name of God, go!
where is oliver cromwell when you need him

Jan 01, 2013 8:50am EST  --  Report as abuse
hairy2xs wrote:
might actually take these guys seriously if they suspended their pay until they had a deal figured out instead of threatening soldiers pay and the retired.
what do they do, vote themselves another pay raise.

Jan 01, 2013 8:53am EST  --  Report as abuse
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