On Monday, May 22, President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy met at the White House to discuss raising the statutory limit on U.S. government debt, generally called the debt ceiling. Although both leaders termed the discussion "productive," there was no resolution, and their respective negotiating teams continued discussions.
1 Here are some answers to questions you may have about the issues behind the current impasse.
On January 19, 2023, the outstanding debt of the U.S. government reached its statutory limit, commonly called the debt ceiling. The current limit was set by Congress at about $31.4 trillion in December 2021.
On the day the limit was reached, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen instituted well-established "extraordinary measures" to allow necessary borrowing for a limited period of time. While Yellen projects the extension will last until early June, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates it may last until sometime between July and September. However, the CBO cautions that if April tax revenues fall short of its projections, the Treasury could run out of funds earlier.