The Obama administration plans to seek an increase in the nation's borrowing power, less than half a year after a debt ceiling debate cost the U.S. its stellar credit rating and brought government to a dead halt.
The president plans to ask Congress for a further $1.2 trillion increase, according to an unnamed Treasury official who spoke with Bloomberg.
The White House will request the additional funds on Dec. 30, as the nation is projected to approach its $15.194 trillion limit. By early January 2012, the U.S. will have $100 billion or so left under the current limit. Fortunately, a new process set in place by the Budget Control Act of 2011, which was codified as part of the debt ceiling deal, will make another debit ceiling standoff much more difficult to replicate.
The request will set in motion a new protocol for raising the debt ceiling, which was established in an Aug. 2 deal that nearly saw the country fall short of its obligations. After the White House makes its request, Congress has 15 days to pass a disapproving resolution, which the president can then veto. If Congress takes no action, the increase will automatically take effect.
The next increase would raise the debt limit to $16.394 trillion, which the Treasury official estimated would not be reached until late 2012.
The request comes on the heels of a heated debate on Capitol Hill over how to fund a payroll tax cut that could cost $100 billion.