The U.S. Treasury Secretary, Jacob J. Lew, wrote a letter to Congress this week stating the U.S. government will hit the debt ceiling by October. He wrote, “…Congress should act as soon as possible to protect America’s good credit by extending normal borrowing authority well before any risk of default becomes imminent.” (Source: U.S. Department of the Treasury, August 26, 2013.)
Lew added, “Protecting the full faith and credit of the United States is the responsibility of Congress because only Congress can extend the nation’s borrowing authority. Failure to meet that responsibility would cause irreparable harm to the American economy.” (Source: Ibid.)
Will Congress raise the debt ceiling again? It certainly will!
Since 1960, Congress has raised the debt ceiling 78 times—49 times under Republican presidents and 29 times under Democratic presidents. (Source: U.S. Department of the Treasury web site, last accessed August 27, 2013.)
The debt ceiling, which is set by Congress, puts a restriction on how much the national debt can be increased.
On August 23, 2012, the U.S. national debt stood at $15.97 trillion. Fast-forward one year to August 23, 2013, and our national debt hit $16.73 trillion.