The debt ceiling impasse and what happens on October 19

The $28.4 trillion debt limit was reinstated August 1. Since then, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has been keeping the nation’s finances afloat by using emergency accounting maneuvers. Known as “extraordinary measures,” these steps allow the government to borrow additional funds without breaching the debt ceiling.
“At that point, we expect Treasury would be left with very limited resources that would be depleted quickly,” Yellen wrote in a letter to Congress. “It is uncertain whether we would continue to meet all the nation’s commitments after that date.”

That’s an accelerated timing from previously, when Yellen said this would happen at some point in October.

This so-called X-date should be viewed as a best guess by Treasury, not a set-in-stone deadline based on exact science. In other words, America could hit the debt ceiling days before, or days after, October 18.

There are many, many moving pieces here. Yellen herself warned the X-date “can…

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