Image: U.S. Debt Clock
By Brianna Lyman
The United States hit the debt ceiling Thursday as Congress continues to debate whether to raise the limit.
The Treasury Department announced the U.S. hit its $31.4 trillion debt ceiling Thursday morning.
BREAKING: The U.S. has reached its $31.4 trillion debt ceiling, the Treasury Department announced on Thursday, with no obvious deal in sight.https://t.co/fJpnqXmgZF
— Axios (@axios) January 19, 2023
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen sent a letter to Congress stating that the department would take “extraordinary measures” in light of the situation. (RELATED: Swalwell Says Dems Will ‘Go Around The Speaker’ To Raise Debt Ceiling, Fund Ukraine)
“The period of time that extraordinary measures may last is subject to considerable uncertainty, including the challenges of forecasting the payments and receipts of the U.S. Government months into the future,” Yellen wrote. “I respectfully urge Congress to act promptly to protect the full faith and credit of the United States.”
The Treasury Department can suspend payments to long-term programs and prioritize other payments under these measures, according to Axios.
Democrats and Republicans have not yet reached a solution to the crisis. Republicans are calling for spending cuts to raise the debt ceiling, something which Democrats oppose. Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy said while on Fox News that Congress needs to sit down and figure out where to cut costs.
“Let’s sit down together. Let’s look at the places that we can change our behavior. Why would we sit back and be so arrogant to say, ‘No, there’s no waste in government?’”
Economists have warned that not raising the debt ceiling could put the U.S. at risk of default, according to CNN. If the Treasury defaults on payments and prioritizes which payments to shell out it could lead to a possible recession and cut domestic growth, according to the Financial Times.