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 13, 2015


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


Dear Mr. Speaker: 

I am writing to follow up on my March 6 letter regarding the debt limit.

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.  In anticipation of reaching that date, Treasury has suspended until further notice the issuance of State and Local Government Series securities, which count against the debt limit.

Because Congress has not yet acted to raise the debt limit, the Treasury Department will have to employ further extraordinary measures to continue to finance the government on a temporary basis.  Therefore, beginning on March 16, I plan to declare a “debt issuance suspension period” with respect to investments of the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund and also suspend the daily reinvestment of Treasury securities held by the Government Securities Investment Fund of the Federal Employees’ Retirement System Thrift Savings Plan.  These actions have been employed during previous debt limit impasses and are described in the appendix to this letter.

Protecting the full faith and credit of the United States is the responsibility of Congress, because only Congress can extend the nation’s borrowing authority.  No Congress in our history has failed to meet that responsibility.  The creditworthiness of the United States is not a bargaining chip, and I again urge Congress to address this matter without controversy or brinksmanship.

Accordingly, I respectfully urge 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

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:  Debt Limit
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