Its official, America has a debt problem.
The federal government reached the debt ceiling earlier this month.
There’s a new effort in Congress to make the debt ceiling debate a thing of the past.
Treasury Secretary, Steve Mnuchin is urging lawmakers to increase the nation’s credit limit.
“I encourage Congress to do that sooner rather than later,” said Secretary Mnuchin.
Secretary Mnuchin says until then, his department will use “extraordinary measures.” The treasury will pay only the bills they must and issue IOUs for less critical payments.
Secretary Mnuchin also says extraordinary measures can only work for so long.
Experts say if Congress fails to act, America will default on its debts, crippling the country’s credit rating and possibly prompting an economic crisis.
Virginia Senator Tim Kaine (D) says he has a plan to prevent future fights over the debt ceiling.
He’s introduced a bill to share the power to raise it with the president.
“If we want to send a message of stability, and end the kind of brinkmanship that hurts the economy, there’s no reason this should be partisan,” said Kaine.
Senate leaders have not yet said if they plan to take up Kaine’s bill or when a vote on raising the debt ceiling might occur.