The debt ceiling is back.
Just 16 months ago, a fight over the national borrowing limit paralyzed Washington, damaged the country’s credit rating and nearly pitched the United States into default.
On Thursday, the White House and Democrats in Congress signaled that they wanted to take up that fight up again — and do it now...
After the battle in the summer of 2011, Congress raised the national debt limit to $16.394 trillion. This week, a study by the nonprofit Bipartisan Policy Center concluded that, given the current pace of borrowing, the Treasury Department will hit that limit sometime in late December.
Treasury officials could give themselves more time, the center concluded, with a series of extraordinary legal and financial maneuvers. The Treasury Department has said those steps would push the limit to “early in 2013.” The Bipartisan Policy Center <a href="http://bipartisanpolicy.org/news/press-releases/2012/11/bipartisan-policy-center-estimates-federal-government-will-hit-debt-limi">narrowed it down</a> a little more: The money would last until sometime in February.