Debt Ceiling Debate Returns To Congress

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says the Republican-controlled Congress will not allow the government to default, as the Department of the Treasury approaches what's known as the debt ceiling.

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew wrote a letter to congressional leaders on Friday saying that as of next Monday, the outstanding debt of the United States will be at the statutory limit set by Congress in February 2014.

He asked Congress to raise the ceiling, saying without that, the Treasury Department would have to take extraordinary measures to continue to finance the government on a temporary basis. Past efforts to attach spending limits on efforts to raise the debt ceiling have failed.

Here & Now's Robin Young speaks to NPR's senior Washington editor, Ron Elving, about the approaching deadline and what reaching the statutory limit means for the government.


This segment aired on March 9, 2015.


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