WASHINGTON Feb 12 U.S. borrowing authority
would rise to $12.1 trillion under an economic stimulus bill
rapidly moving through Congress, congressional aides said on
Congress must authorize any increases in the federal
government's credit limit, which currently is set at $11.3
But with government spending rapidly escalating -- because
of financial industry bailouts, the Iraq war, increasing costs
of retirement and health care programs and the $789 billion
economic stimulus bill moving through Congress -- the Treasury
Department is rapidly closing in on the limit.
The U.S. debt currently is slightly more than $10.7
When President George W. Bush took office in 2001, the U.S.
debt limit was around $5.7 trillion and debt rapidly rose
through the eight years of his presidency.
(Reporting by Richard Cowan)