Geithner Asks Congress to Increase US Debt Limit

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Washington — U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner asked Congress to increase the $12.1 trillion debt limit on Friday, saying it is “critically important” that they act in the next two months.

Mr. Geithner, in a letter to U.S. lawmakers, said that the Treasury projects that the current debt limit could be reached as early mid-October. Increasing the limit is important to instilling confidence in global investors, Mr. Geithner said.

The Treasury didn’t request a specific increase in the letter.

“It is critically important that Congress act before the limit is reached so that citizens and investors here and around the world can remain confident that the United States will always meet its obligations,” Mr. Geithner said in a letter to lawmakers.

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Mr. Geithner said the that it is “clearly a moment in our history” that requires support from both Democrats and Republicans for the increase.

“Congress has never failed to raise the debt limit when necessary,” Mr. Geithner said.

The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office said Thursday the federal government’s budget deficit reached $1.3 trillion through the first ten months of fiscal 2009, on track to reach a record high of $1.8 trillion for the 12-month period.

Write to Corey Boles at corey.boles@dowjones.com and Michael R. Crittenden at michael.crittenden@dowjones.com

By COREY BOLES and MICHAEL R. CRITTENDEN
AUGUST 8, 2009, 12:40 A.M. ET

Source: The Wall Street Journal

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