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
By Nancy Cordes
The White House and congressional leaders have until January 1 to work out a budget deal.
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)
THE DAILY NEWS
Optimistic despite a tightening deadline, President Barack Obama said Wednesday he and House Speaker John Boehner are “pretty close” to a grand fiscal deal to avoid a first-of-the-year shock to the economy, but that congressional Republicans “keep on finding ways to say no as opposed to finding ways to say yes.”
Before voting tonight on his “fiscal cliff” Plan “B” Speaker John Boehner ended today’s session. Some speculate that he didn’t have the 218 votes needed for passage. Hmmm.