After passing a stopgap spending bill that will keep the federal government funded at current levels until Feb. 18, Congress still needs to increase the government’s debt limit. That’s the total amount the U.S. government is authorized to borrow to meet its existing legal obligations. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has urged Congress to raise the debt limit by Dec. 15. Yellen told lawmakers recently that there’s uncertainty about what the Treasury cash balances would be after that date. The bipartisan Policy Center has warned that the federal government faces a potential default sometime between Dec. 21 and Jan. 28 next year if lawmakers fail to raise or suspend the debt ceiling.


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