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Politics: Debt ceiling: Treasury secretary estimates US could reach debt limit on December 15

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Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen now estimates that the government will run out of money on December 15, an extension from the previous deadline of December 3.

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, September 30, 2021. © Al Drago/Pool/AFP/Getty Images US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, September 30, 2021.

"There are scenarios in which Treasury would be left with insufficient remaining resources to continue to finance the operations of the U.S. Government beyond this date," Yellen said of the new deadline in a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday.

While the pushed deadline gives lawmakers some additional time to address the debt ceiling, it remains unclear how Democrats will proceed after Republican leaders, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, have repeatedly stated they will not help with legislation to raise the limit.

Congress could face mid-December debt disaster, Yellen warns

  Congress could face mid-December debt disaster, Yellen warns Yellen told congressional leaders on Tuesday that she has “a high degree of confidence” that her department will be able to finance the government through Dec. 15. But “there are scenarios,” she wrote, that would leave the government without enough cash beyond that date. A gush of corporate tax payments come the middle of next month could make the accounting trick work, filling federal coffers enough to keep Treasury from reaching the absolute breaking point now that the nation has again exhausted its roughly $28 trillion debt limit.

Republicans have insisted that Democrats must act alone to address the debt limit through a process known as budget reconciliation, which would require no GOP support for passage.

Democrats, however, have argued the issue is a bipartisan responsibility. While Democratic leaders have publicly dismissed the possibility of using reconciliation -- arguing the process is too lengthy and unwieldy and that the risk of miscalculation would be too high -- it could be the only way to address the issue without changing the filibuster, which Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia has repeatedly opposed.

The looming December deadline comes after Congress approved an extension of the nation's debt limit in October following dire warnings from Yellen about the economic fallout that would ensue if the issue went unaddressed.

Democrats think GOP will blink in newest debt brawl

  Democrats think GOP will blink in newest debt brawl Congress is headed into another nasty fight to raise the debt limit that has no resolution in sight. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told congressional leaders Tuesday that the federal government could default on its debt soon after Dec. 15 without action to raise the federal borrowing limit.Senate Democrats are ruling out the possibility of using the special budget reconciliation process to raise the debt ceiling with only Democratic votes. But that means they'll need some help from Senate Republicans, setting up another standoff over government spending next month. "We must pass the debt limit.

After that agreement, McConnell sent a letter to President Joe Biden warning, "I will not provide such assistance again if your all-Democrat government drifts into another avoidable crisis," and telling the President that his "lieutenants on Capitol Hill now have the time they claimed they lacked to address the debt ceiling through standalone reconciliation, and all the tools to do it."

Yellen said in her Tuesday letter that "as the federal government's cash flow is subject to unavoidable variability, I will continue to update Congress as more information becomes available."

"To ensure the full faith and credit of the United States, it is critical that Congress raise or suspend the debt limit as soon as possible," she said.

This story has been updated with additional information Tuesday.

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