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Debt Ceiling Delay Gets Senate OK

WASHINGTON, (UPI) –  The U.S. Senate followed the House’s lead Thursday and approved a temporary suspension of the U.S. debt ceiling, averting yet another fiscal showdown.

The measure now goes to President Obama for signature.

The United States hit its $16.4 trillion borrowing limit New Year’s Eve and since then the Treasury has been using what Secretary Timothy Geithner called “extraordinary measures” to pay the nation’s bills. That ability, he had warned, would run out before the middle of March.

The suspension, approved 64-34, runs through May 19, at which point the debt limit will be reset at a higher level. Extraordinary measures then can be reinstituted to carry the issue into August.

The Bipartisan Policy Center estimates the United States will run up an additional $450 billion in debt before mid-May, The Washington Post reported.

Though a debt ceiling crisis has been averted for now, Congress still needs to deal with the sequester, which kicks in March 1, imposing a series of across-the-board spending cuts that hit the Pentagon especially hard. Also looming is the March 27 expiration of a broad government funding bill, posing the threat of a possible shutdown.

The suspension bill also requires the Senate to produce a 2014 budget or face suspension of members’ paychecks.

UPI - United Press International, Inc.

Since 1907, United Press International (UPI) has been a leading provider of critical information to media outlets, businesses, governments and researchers worldwide.

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  • http://billericapolitics.org –Rick

    Here’s a novel idea…let’s insist on the Senate doing its job without qualifications. They need to produce a budget and set a debt ceiling that is reasonable and responsible. However, it would seem that most Americans could care less about the performance of government because they keep electing the same people and expecting different results…hmmm…that reminds me of a quote…man, I wish I could recall how it goes….

  • Sun Rising

    Unfortunately, this did not avert a crisis, it just prolonged it. The day is still coming.

    Everything is coalescing to the end of August. Yes, we will get one more CR to take up to FY2014. Yes, the debt ceiling will be increased just enough to limp us to FY2014 at current spending levels – without cuts. The Sequestering is likely to go as legislated. The congress will set the deck of cards up just enough to get to FY2014. Then what?

    It is an election year.

    More Debt is overwelmingly unpopular.

    The people favor big cuts to the federal government with the DoD topping the list. Then a careful carving of entitlements.

    The people are saying no to more taxes.

    The economy is on a dangerous bubble and it is about to pop. The GDP is starting to show its wear and tear.

    Lies from congress and federal officials and the President are becoming more and more obvious.

    Corruption and fraud is showing up in main stream media on a more regular and increasing rate.

    The truth is we have already fallen off of many cliffs. The integrety cliff came and went years ago with the nation badly bruised and broken, the honesty cliff was a brutal fall, the reliability cliff was steep, and I think we have yet to hit the ground. But now the financial cliff has passed us and we are holding tightly to the branches and rocks as we stare straigt down to the final fall.

    There is only one rope to getus back to the top, that is LESS GOVERNMENT. It has not worked, even on streroids. Time to cut-slash and shrink the behomouth to a level where we the people can clean up congress’s and the federal workforce’s mess.

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