The debt ceiling "dance" is coming up. How did it start?

Jun 16, 2021
A higher debt limit does not mean funding more government programs. It is paying for the bills already due.
Congress has until July 31 to raise or suspend the debt ceiling.
Zach Gibson via Getty Images

A two-year shutdown of government shutdowns?

Feb 8, 2018
Congress had to pass a budget bill to avoid a shutdown this week. It also had to lift the debt limit or risk the government running out of money in March. So lawmakers packaged the bills. But they aren’t just doubling up on legislation, they’re doubling down on the national debt.   Click the audio […]

Is tying Harvey disaster relief to the debt ceiling opportunistic?

Linking the two could make raising the debt limit more palatable to Congress, but it puts off a painful conversation about spending cuts.
 Rain from Hurricane Harvey falls on a Texas and U.S. flag on Aug. 26, 2017, in Texas City, Texas.
Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

Weekly Wrap: Paul Ryan, debt limit and interest rates

Oct 23, 2015
Sudeep Reddy and Nela Richardson join Kai Ryssdal to recap the week that was.

House lifts debt ceiling. What does it mean?

Feb 12, 2014
The House voted to increase to the government’s borrowing limit

Stumped by the debt ceiling? Here's an explainer

Feb 7, 2014
Basically, Congress appropriates money for projects and programs, then lawmakers have to give the executive branch permission to pay those bills.

Debt ceiling dilemma: Who gets paid first?

Sep 26, 2013
If Congress fails to raise the debt limit, the next question is how to pay the bills.

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As debt ceiling approaches, it's income that fluctuates

Sep 25, 2013
The U.S. cannot pinpoint just when it will hit its debt limit, and while a giant unexpected expense could cause a problem, it's revenues that make the deadline tough to figure out.

Tough to predict exact deadline on U.S. debt

Aug 27, 2013
The Treasury Department says the U.S. will run out of money on some unknown date in October.

It's all about the Benjamins: The U.S. debt in perspective

Jul 22, 2011
As the debt ceiling debate drags on in Congress, the political whirlwind that's dominated the news can sometimes cloud the reality of the real...