Treasury Says U.S. Will Hit Borrowing Limit On New Year's Eve

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Dec. 26 2012 5:12 PM

Treasury Says U.S. Will Hit Borrowing Limit On New Year's Eve

114292280
U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner speaks on President Obama's approach to deficit reduction at the Joan Shorenstein Center on Press, Politics, and Public Policy at the Harvard Club of New York City on May 17, 2011 in New York City.

Photo by Michael Nagle/Getty Images.

With five days remaining until Washington takes the nation over the so-called fiscal cliff, the Treasury Department brings us the promise today of yet another partisan fight in the not-so-distant future. The Washington Post with the details:

The U.S. government will exhaust its borrowing authority on Monday and hit the $16.4 trillion federal debt limit, the Treasury Department said Wednesday, beginning a countdown until Congress either passes legislation to allow for more borrowing or the government defaults on its debt.
Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner said in a letter to senior lawmakers that the Treasury would begin to undertake "extraordinary measures" in order to forestall default. Geithner said the measures could create about $200 billion in additional funding available to the government—giving Congress two months before it must raise the debt limit.
Advertisement

That estimate is just that, however, given the current uncertainty around the fiscal cliff talks that are expected to carry on right up until—and possibly through—New Year's Eve. Because of that, Geithner wrote, "it is not possible to predict the effective duration of these measures." Nonetheless, the now-pressing need to raise the debt ceiling means that if/when lawmakers manage to reach a cliff deal, they'll then likely need to turn their attention to what is sure to be the latest game of partisan chicken. (The alternative would be to fold that debate into the current one, but adding another piece to the cliff puzzle seems unlikely to help solve things as the clock winds down.)

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

TODAY IN SLATE

Frame Game

Hard Knocks

I was hit by a teacher in an East Texas public school. It taught me nothing.

Republicans Like Scott Walker Are Building Campaigns Around Problems That Don’t Exist

Why Greenland’s “Dark Snow” Should Worry You

If You’re Outraged by the NFL, Follow This Satirical Blowhard on Twitter

The Best Way to Organize Your Fridge

The World

Iran and the U.S. Are Allies

They just aren’t ready to admit it yet.

Sports Nut

Giving Up on Goodell

How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.

Chief Justice John Roberts Says $1,000 Can’t Buy Influence in Congress. Looks Like He’s Wrong.

How Steven Moffat Made the Best Doctor Who Episode in Years

  News & Politics
Politics
Sept. 16 2014 2:11 PM Spare the Rod What Charles Barkley gets wrong about corporal punishment and black culture.
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 16 2014 2:35 PM Germany’s Nationwide Ban on Uber Lasted All of Two Weeks
  Life
The Eye
Sept. 16 2014 12:20 PM These Outdoor Cat Shelters Have More Style Than the Average Home
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 15 2014 3:31 PM My Year As an Abortion Doula
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus Video
Sept. 16 2014 2:06 PM A Farewell From Emily Bazelon The former senior editor talks about her very first Slate pitch and says goodbye to the magazine.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 16 2014 1:27 PM The Veronica Mars Spinoff Is Just Amusing Enough to Keep Me Watching
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 16 2014 1:48 PM Why We Need a Federal Robotics Commission
  Health & Science
Science
Sept. 16 2014 1:39 PM The Case of the Missing Cerebellum How did a Chinese woman live 24 years missing part of her brain?
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 15 2014 9:05 PM Giving Up on Goodell How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.