Senate discussing a raise in national debt ceiling to above $14 trillion
By Lori Montgomery
The Senate opened debate Wednesday on a plan to raise the nation's debt limit by $1.9 trillion, a move that Democrats hope will see the Treasury through this fall's congressional elections.
The record increase would raise the Treasury's legal ceiling for borrowing to $14.3 trillion -- about the size of the nation's overall economy.
Treasury expects to exceed the current debt limit of $12.4 trillion as soon as next month. Much of that borrowing is between government agencies; borrowing from foreign governments and other private investors stands at about $7.8 trillion, or around 54 percent of the nation's gross domestic product, a level that has been rising rapidly in the aftermath of the deepest recession in a generation.
Republicans are poised to draw debate over the debt limit into a days-long indictment of President Obama's fiscal policies. Mindful of that, the White House and congressional Democrats have reached a tentative agreement to create a bipartisan budget commission to chart a parth to fiscal solvency. Senate moderates, who had threatened to block a significant increase in the debt limit without such a commission, were meeting Wednesday afternoon to decide whether the deal would pass muster.
January 20, 2010; 4:51 PM ET
Categories: 44 The Obama Presidency , Capitol Briefing
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