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US will hit debt limit next week, Yellen warns Congress

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WASHINGTON — The United States is expected to hit the debt ceiling on Jan. 19, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned Friday in a letter to House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.

As of this Thursday, “the outstanding debt of the United States should reach the statutory limit. Once the limit is reached, the Treasury will have to begin taking certain extraordinary measures to prevent the United States from defaulting on its obligations” , indicates the letter. said.

Extraordinary measures buy the government time for Congress to negotiate and pass an increase in the debt ceiling. In the letter, Yellen said the measures allow “the government to meet its obligations for a limited period of time.” She said that while the Treasury Department cannot identify exactly when the measures will run out, she said, it is “unlikely” they will “run out before early June.”

“It is therefore essential that Congress act in a timely manner to raise or suspect the debt ceiling,” she wrote. “Failure to meet government obligations would cause irreparable harm to the U.S. economy, the livelihoods of all Americans, and global financial stability.”

Yellen said even threats from lawmakers not to raise the debt ceiling have “done real damage, including the only credit rating downgrade in our nation’s history in 2011.”

His warning comes just after McCarthy was sworn in as president after a long party battle over whether to take the hammer last week.

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