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Debt Limit ‘Brinksmanship’ May Push US Closer To Default

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(File Photo)

(File Photo)

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LOS ANGELES (CBS) — It’s official: the federal government has maxed out its credit card.

The United States reached its $14.3 trillion limit on federal borrowing on Monday, leaving Congress 11 weeks to raise the threshold or risk a financial panic or another recession.

Jeanne Sahadi, senior writer with CNN Money, told KFWB 980’s Michael Shappee that while Treasury chief Timothy Geithner has bought himself a few weeks, it’s unclear what happens if and when the U.S. can no longer take on any more debt.

While the debt ceiling was officially breached on Monday, Sahadi said the actual major deadline for the country is August 2, 2011.

“[Geithner] basically told Congress, ‘Look, now that we’ve hit the debt ceiling, I have to use some of these extraordinary measures I told you about to buy us a little bit of room under the ceiling so the government can continue to borrow,” Sahadi said.

A new Gallup poll shows 47 percent of Americans don’t want the debt ceiling to be raised. However, Boehner and Mr. Obama both agree the limit should be raised. But the ways each official has of getting there are totally different.

“In some ways, lawmakers are saying, ‘Hey, in order for us to do our job — which we should have been doing all along — we’re now going to make this a risky situation for the country’,” Sahadi said.

(©2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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