Yellen Revises Debt Deadline

Treasury secretary tells Congress government will be out of cash by June 5
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted May 26, 2023 5:15 PM CDT
Yellen Pinpoints Debt Deadline
Rep. Garret Graves, top GOP negotiator in the debt limit talks, leaves the office of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy to go to the White House on Friday.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Friday updated the date when she projects the federal government will run out of cash to pay its bills to June 5, unless the debt ceiling is raised or suspended by then. That's more specific than she's been; Yellen previously had said it would happen early next month and possibly as early as June 1. The revision, announced to members of Congress in a letter, gives negotiators a bit of breathing room without making the need for an agreement any less urgent, the New York Times reports.

Bills due in the first two days of June total more than $130 billion and include payments to veterans and recipients of Social Security and Medicare. When those expenditures are made, Yellen wrote, Treasury will have only "an extremely low level of resources." Negotiators for President Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy had no agreement to report as of late Friday afternoon. The talks have been "up and down," one Republican negotiator said Friday, per the Washington Post. "There is forward progress," said Rep. Patrick McHenry of North Carolina. "But each time there’s forward progress, the issues that remain become more difficult and more challenging." (More debt ceiling stories.)

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