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Treasury Notes

 Secretary Lew Sends Debt Limit Letter to Congress

By: Dan Watson

​Today, Secretary Lew sent the following letter​​ to Congress regarding the debt limit:



March 6, 2015

The Honorable John A. Boehner
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC  20515


Dear Mr. Speaker:

As you know, in February 2014, Congress passed the Temporary Debt Limit Extension Act, suspending the statutory debt limit through March 15, 2015.  Beginning on Monday, March 16, the outstanding debt of the United States will be at the statutory limit. 

Absent an increase in the debt limit, the Treasury Department will have to take extraordinary measures to continue to finance the government on a temporary basis.  On Friday, March 13, Treasury will suspend, until further notice, the issuance of State and Local Government Series (SLGS) securities.  SLGS are special-purpose Treasury securities issued to states and municipalities to assist them in conforming to certain tax rules.  When Treasury issues SLGS, they count against the debt limit.

Increasing the debt limit does not authorize new spending commitments.  It simply allows the government to pay for expenditures Congress has already approved, thereby protecting the full faith and credit of the United States.  Only Congress is empowered to increase the nation’s borrowing authority, and I hope that Congress will address this matter without controversy or brinksmanship.

Accordingly, I respectfully ask Congress to raise the debt limit as soon as possible.



Jacob J. Lew


Identical letter sent to:

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi, House Democratic Leader

The Honorable Mitch McConnell, Senate Majority Leader

The Honorable Harry Reid, Senate Democratic Leader

The Honorable Paul Ryan, Chairman, House Committee on Ways and Means
The Honorable Sander M. Levin, Ranking Member, House Committee on Ways and Means
The Honorable Orrin G. Hatch, Chairman, Senate Committee on Finance
The Honorable Ron Wyden, Ranking Member, Senate Committee on Finance
All other Members of the 114th Congress

Posted in:  Category 1
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