Mnuchin urges Congress to raise debt limit

Mnuchin urges Congress to raise debt limit
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Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is urging Congress to increase the debt ceiling "at the first opportunity," in light of the fact that the U.S. will hit the limit next week.

"As I said in my confirmation hearing, honoring the full faith and credit of our outstanding debt is a critical commitment," Mnuchin said in a letter to congressional leaders this week.

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Congress passed legislation in 2015 to suspend the limit through March 15 of this year, so it will be reinstated on March 16.

Once the debt limit returns, Treasury officials can take temporary measures to prevent the U.S. from defaulting.

Mnuchin announced plans for Treasury to implement one such measure next week, and he said that the department is likely to use additional ones in the future.

The Congressional Budget Office said Tuesday that Treasury is likely to be able to meet its obligations until the fall without a debt-limit increase.