US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has told Congressional leaders that if they fail to raise the statutory debt ceiling by December 15, they will put the US government at risk.
“I have a high degree of confidence that the Treasury can fund the US government by December 15. After that date, however, there are scenarios where the Treasury may run out of resources to continue financing the activities of the US government.” Yellen wrote in a letter to Congressional leaders on Tuesday.
In her letter, Yellen noted that the new deadline is linked to payment obligations arising from infrastructure spending of $550 billion signed into law by President Joe Biden on Monday. Under this law, the Treasury is required to transfer $118 billion to the Highway Trust Fund in one month after that fund’s effective date, December 15.
SINCE LAST MONTH, the US Treasury Department has been using so-called emergency measures to help avoid running out of cash. In a statement made at the beginning of this month, the ministry announced that it had used 182 billion dollars of the 369 billion dollars it has in line with these measures.
Last month, legislators briefly increased the debt limit to allow enough time to overlap with December 3, another deadline for regular annual funding from federal government agencies.