The US government has warned that if Congress fails to extend the debt limit, it could see the US economy collapse.
“This is not a political issue, it’s a financial issue.
We cannot afford to see our economy collapse,” said Treasury Secretary Jack Lew.”
We are going to have to have a credible plan, and we’re going to be able to execute that plan.
That’s why we’ve set the deadline to avoid default, but we’re also setting the deadline for the Congress to act on it,” he said.”
I am not going to get into the politics of this.
This is a serious issue and I don’t want to get sucked into it.”
It is not the first time the US has faced a debt ceiling crisis.
On February 1, 2008, Congress passed a short-term extension of the US debt ceiling, extending the borrowing limit for three months until April 15.
The extension expired on February 18, 2009, with no end in sight.
It was the last time the government borrowed from the US Treasury to pay its bills.
The extension was eventually paid off, but at the cost of a $100 billion default on the US credit rating.
“The debt ceiling is the ultimate safeguard for the economy and the nation,” Mr Lew said.
“The Treasury and Congress must not let this opportunity slip away.”