Debt Limit Analysis

By Shai Akabas, Brian Collins, Steve Bell

Friday, March 13, 2015

Tax filing season has come to a close, and the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) has updated its debt limit analysis and its projections of how long the Treasury could continue to pay all of the nation’s bills in full and on time without action by policymakers.

Revenues for the last few months have come in stronger than projected by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to the tune of about $40 billion, according to CBO’s Monthly Budget Review. Most of that unanticipated revenue has been in the form of non-withheld taxes (paid with tax returns or on quarterly estimated tax forms), which are up 16 percent to date—a substantial bump—over the previous fiscal year.

Latest Updates

October 2, 2015: Treasury Could Run Out of Cash Mid- To Late-November

September 11, 2015: Lew Letter on Debt Limit in Line with CBO, BPC Projections

September 2, 2015: Latest Monthly Treasury Data Doesn’t Change BPC Debt Limit Projection

August 25, 2015: CBO Debt Limit Projection Consistent with BPC’s Analysis

July 10, 2015: Debt Limit Brinkmanship Threatens Markets

Extraordinary Measures 101

Updated March 13, 2015: Extraordinary Measures, Simplified

Older Updates


May 18, 2015Debt Limit Update: Strong Tax Season Moves Most Likely X-Date Window to November/December

March 13, 2015: Debt Limit Reinstatement: Why This Time is Different l Download the full analysis

March 3, 2015: Debt Limit Update: X Date Most Likely in 4Q of 2015


February 12: House-Passed Suspension Would Add Approximately $1 Trillion to Debt Limit in March 2015

February 6: What to do with the Federal Debt Limit? Five Ideas

January 30: BPC Debt Limit Projection: X Date Will Arrive Soon After Debt Limit Reinstatement

January 9: Extraordinary Measures, Simplified


December 19, 2013: 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

October 18: BPC Estimates Agreement Will Increase Debt Limit by Roughly $600 billion; Debt Limit Suspended Until February 8, 2014

October 9: Could the X Date be delayed by extending the Debt Issuance Suspension Period?

October 8: As BPC’s X Date Window Narrows, Economic Risks Grow

October 3: Will the Government Shutdown Delay the X Date?

September 25: Debt Limit Update: No Change to BPC X Date Projection

September 10: BPC’s Debt Limit Projection: Key Takeaways

August 26: Statement by the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Steve Bell on the New Debt Limit Deadline

July 16: Debt Limit Update: Still on Track for a Fall X Date

May 23: Debt Limit Reinstated at $16.7 Trillion: Updated X Date Estimate

May 9: Updated X Date Estimate: GSE Dividend Announcements

May 8H.R. 807 (the Full Faith and Credit Act) and the Debt Limit

April 26:The Debt Limit: Updated X Date Projection

January 31H.R. 325, The Debt Limit, and Extraordinary Measures: A Technical Note

January 30When Will the Next Debt Limit X Date Be?

January 24

January 16

January 11


Attached files