The political circus on Capitol Hill has come full circle this year. Congress started 2013 by arguing over the fiscal cliff and allowing the nation to hit its ever-increasing debt ceiling. A temporary agreement was eventually reached, but more political balancing acts were performed in October as the government went into shutdown mode for the first time in 17 years. While a recent budget deal tamed political rhetoric, the debt ceiling is starting to take center stage again.
In the final days of 2012, former Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner sent a letter to Congress warning about the debt ceiling and explained that the department would take “extraordinary measures” to provide approximately $200 billion in headroom. Now, in the final days of 2013, the same routine is being performed.
Late Thursday, current Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew sent a letter to Congress urging members to protect the full faith and credit of the United States by extending the nation’s borrowing authority once again. His plea comes after the House of Representatives and a bipartisan majority of the Senate managed to pass a budget agreement. Lew also reminded Capitol Hill that no Congress in history has failed to extend the nation’s borrowing authority.