US federal debt passes $20 trillion for first time

TheHill/Niv Elis/09-11-17

The U.S. federal government’s gross debt surpassed $20 trillion on Friday, according to a daily Treasury Department statement.

The debt jumped from $19.8 trillion to $20.1 trillion after Congress suspended the debt ceiling for three months, allowing the Treasury to borrow again on the open markets.

For months, it had been using off-book extraordinary measures to keep from defaulting. Since President Trump signed a bill including the debt-limit lift Friday, it was able to start unwinding those measures with regular borrowing and increase the debt.

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