WASHINGTON – The United States is poised to hit its legal public debt ceiling of $14.29 trillion between April 5 and May 31, the US Treasury said Wednesday as it seeks congressional action to raise the limit.
The latest Treasury estimate came amid a brewing political fight over whether Congress will raise the government’s legal limit on borrowing or force the government to cut borrowing and spending, and eventually risk a default on its obligations.
The new projected dates extended the prior January estimate of the statutory debt limit being reached between March 31 and May 16.
“The modest change in these estimated dates reflects an upward revision to projected receipts and a projected downward revision to debt to be issued to government trust funds,” the Treasury said in a statement.
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner asked Congress last month to raise the debt ceiling to avoid the threat of default.
In a January 6 letter to the Senate’s top lawmaker, Geithner asked for permission to increase the national debt from the $14.29 trillion set in February 2010.
If the ceiling is not raised, the United States would only have up to eight weeks before it runs out of cash to pay its bills, according to Treasury estimates.