The debt ceiling was suspended for about three months in September, which allowed the federal government to borrow as much money as it needed during that period. The government borrowed more than $500 billion in the last few months when the ceiling was suspended.
But after Friday, the debt ceiling took effect once more. The new limit is $20.493 trillion, which a government website said on Monday was the total amount of accrued debt as of Friday.
Now, the total national debt will sit at or around $20.493 trillion until Congress agrees to increase or suspend the ceiling again.
That’s not expected to happen until March or April. Until then, the Treasury Department is expected to reduce borrowing and undertake other “extraordinary measures” to ensure borrowing doesn’t exceed the new limit.
The national debt remains a contentious issue among Republicans. Some Republicans oppose the GOP bill to cut taxes, since it is expected to add more than $1 trillion to the national debt over the next decade.
But the tax bill was approved in both the House and Senate in the past few weeks, and conferees are negotiating a final bill this week. Its supporters argue that cutting taxes will help boost growth and therefore at least partially offset the revenues lost to the government through cutting taxes.