The federal debt limit, which was suspended by Congress and the president in November 2015, is set to be reinstated on March 16, 2017. When the debt limit is reinstated, the federal government’s accumulated debt will immediately equal the new ceiling, which BPC projects will be about $20.1 trillion. At that point, absent action by policymakers, the Treasury Department would be forced to immediately take “extraordinary measures” to ensure the smooth functioning of the federal government’s finances.
BPC projects that extraordinary measures would allow Treasury to continue meeting its financial obligations for a limited amount of time, at least until mid-summer of 2017. However, it is important to stress the uncertainty involved in all debt limit estimates. The federal government is scheduled to take in and pay out trillions of dollars between now and the middle of 2017. A sudden shift in the trajectory of the economy or significant changes in spending or tax law could alter these projections.
February 7, 2017: Recent History of the Debt Limit
Extraordinary Measures 101
Updated March 13, 2015: Extraordinary Measures, Simplified
September 13, 2016: Debt Limit Brinksmanship Threatens to Return Next Year
October 27: Debt Limit “X-date” Range Updated to Nov. 10-16
U.S. Government Accountability Office: Market Response to Recent Impasses Underscores Need to Consider Alternative Approaches
January 9: Extraordinary Measures, Simplified
December 19: Late Start to Tax Filing Season Affects X Date
November 21: Thoughts on CBO’s New Debt Limit Report
November 21: Debt Limit Suspension: Frequently Asked Questions
September 25: Debt Limit Update: No Change to BPC X Date Projection
September 10: BPC’s Debt Limit Projection: Key Takeaways
January 30: When Will the Next Debt Limit X Date Be?
- What Is a Government Default on its Debt?
- Platinum Coins and IOUs: Missing the Point
- Debt Limit Analysis Update
- BPC’s Debt Limit Projection: Key Takeaways
- Will the Delay in the Tax Filing Season Affect the X Date?
Fiscal Outlook: Understanding The Federal Debt
U.S. Government Accountability Office