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Snow urges Congress to raise debt limit
Date: Sunday, January 01 2006
Topic:


Reuters
Thursday, December 29, 2005

Snow urges Congress to raise debt limit

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Treasury Secretary John Snow warned lawmakers on
Thursday that a legally set limit on the government's ability to
borrow will be hit in mid-February and urged Congress to raise it
quickly.

Failure to do so potentially risks throwing the country into its
first default in history, Snow warned in what has become virtually an
annual rite as U.S. borrowing needs spiral.

"The administration now projects that the statutory debt limit,
currently $8.184 trillion, will be reached in mid-February 2006,"
Snow said in a letter to 21 members of the U.S. House of
Representatives and Senate released by Treasury after financial
markets had closed.

Snow said that Treasury, if the debt limit was not raised by then,
would have to take "extraordinary actions" to keep paying its bills
for everything from Social Security to national defense spending.

Even if Treasury took "all available prudent and legal actions to
avoid breaching the statutory debt limit, we anticipate that we can
finance government operations no longer than mid-March."

The debt limit was last raised in November 2004 by $800 billion to
its current level. The letter to Congress does not specify an amount
the Treasury wants the ceiling set at this time.

But he said quick action was needed to preserve the U.S. ability to
borrow in global capital markets at the lowest rates possible.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20051229/pl_nm/economy_debtlimit_dc

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