Mortgaged Future

Debt Ceiling Rises to $12.4 Trillion

The Senate gave Uncle Sam a higher borrowing limit for Christmas: As expected, a measure raising the ceiling on government debt by $290 billion to $12.4 trillion passed 60-39. The bill, which passed the House last week, allows the Treasury Department to issue enough bonds to fund the government through mid-February. In 2009, the government racked up a record $1.4 billion deficit to combat the financial meltdown and the worst recession since the Great Depression. The president, who has promised to address the national debt problem next year, must sign the bill into law in order to avert a first-ever default on U.S. obligations.