The U.S. government will exhaust its borrowing authority on Dec. 31 and hit the $16.4 trillion federal debt limit, the Treasury Department said Wednesday, beginning a countdown until Congress either passes legislation to allow for more borrowing or the government defaults on its debt.
Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner said in a letter to senior lawmakers that the Treasury would begin to undertake “extraordinary measures” in order to forestall default. Geithner said the measures could create about $200 billion in additional funding available to the government – giving Congress two months before it must raise the debt
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By Nancy Cordes
(CBS News) HAWAII – Democrats are now moving ahead on their own plan to avoid the so-called “fiscal cliff” now that talks have broken down with House Speaker John Boehner.
The White House and congressional leaders have until January 1 to work out a budget deal.
Lawmakers still see path to avert “fiscal cliff”
Watch: No Christmas miracle on “fiscal cliff”Complete coverage of the “fiscal cliff” negotiations
Whatever happens next may essentially be a last-ditch effort to avert the “fiscal cliff.” Sources tell CBS News that aides to the president have been in preliminary talks with aides to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who himself was in Hawaii this weekend for the funeral of Sen. Daniel Inouye.
Reid is now working, sources say, on a smaller package than the comprehensive deal the president was working on with Boehner. The package would prevent tax rates from rising for middle-class families and perhaps cut some spending and tie up a few other loose ends… (Excerpt)
Continue reading ““”Fiscal cliff” deal could fall in Harry Reid’s hands””