Senate votes to temporarily suspend federal debt limit

The Washington Post
Jan. 31, 2013

Congress gave final approval Thursday to a plan to temporarily suspend the legal limit on the national debt, permitting the Treasury Department to keep borrowing and lifting the threat of a government default until early August.

The measure, approved by the Senate 64 to 34, now goes to the White House for President Obama’s signature. Without congressional action, the administration had predicted that the Treasury would run out money to pay the nation’s bills by early March...

On May 19, the debt limit will kick back in and automatically reset at a higher level, reflecting the additional borrowing. Treasury officials can then begin taking what they call “extraordinary measures” to continue paying the nation’s bills.

The Bipartisan Policy Center predicts that the Treasury will run up about $450 billion in additional debt during that period and that the date of a potential default will be postponed until the beginning of August. In recent days, administration officials have advised lawmakers that the center’s analysis matches the White House calculations.