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https://reuters.com/world/us/every-time-its-messy-us-again-approaching-debt-ceiling-2021-07-21/The U.S. Congress will learn on Wednesday when the federal government will likely run out of money to pay its bills, setting the stage for the latest in a long series of fights over what is known as the debt ceiling.
A failure by Democrats and Republicans to work out differences over whether government spending cuts should accompany an increase in the statutory debt limit, currently set at $28.5 trillion, could lead to a shutdown of the federal government -- something that has happened three times in the past decade.
On July 31, the Treasury Department technically bumps up against its statutory debt limit. Much like a personal credit card maximum, the debt ceiling is the amount of money the federal government is allowed to borrow to meet its obligations. These range from paying military salaries and IRS tax refunds to Social Security benefits and even interest payments on the debt.
Remeber that in 2011, Republicans launched a battle over the debt limit and federal spending, which led to the first-ever Standard & Poor's downgrade of the U.S. credit rating -- a move that reverberated through global financial markets.