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Debt Limit Analysis

On March 16, 2017, the debt limit was reinstated from its suspension, and the Treasury Department began to implement its so-called “extraordinary measures” to continue meeting all of the federal government’s financial obligations. BPC’s updated projections show that, absent legislative action, those measures and the cash they generate will only last until early to mid-October 2017. The day those measures are exhausted and Treasury runs out of cash on hand, known as the “X Date,” the federal government would no longer be able to pay its bills in full and on time.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) in its own projection similarly estimates that the X Date will most likely arrive in early to mid-October 2017.

All of these projections carry significant uncertainty, due to the unpredictable nature of the federal government’s cash flows. Moreover, major changes in fiscal policy or economic conditions could impact the timing of the “X Date.”

Latest Projection and Analysis

Explaining the Debt Limit

@BPC_Bipartisan projects the #debtlimit will be reached early to mid-October. 

Video Explainers

Previous Analysis

For many years, BPC experts have been leading voices in debt limit analysis. Review our previous projections, analyses, and reports. 

December 19: Late Start to Tax Filing Season Affects X Date

November 21Thoughts on CBO’s New Debt Limit Report

November 21Debt 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 3Will the Government Shutdown Delay the X Date?

September 25Debt 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 16Debt Limit Update: Still on Track for a Fall X Date

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

May 9Updated X Date Estimate: GSE Dividend Announcements

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

April 26The 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: Fiscal Timeline Under Passage of H.R. 325

January 24: The House Republican Debt Limit Proposal, Explained

January 16: What Is a Government Default on its Debt?

January 16: Platinum Coins and IOUs: Missing the Point

January 16: Debt Limit Analysis Update

January 11: BPC’s Debt Limit Projection: Key Takeaways

January 11: Will the Delay in the Tax Filing Season Affect the X Date?

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