Information on Debt Ceiling Limitations and Increases

AIMD-96-49R: Published: Feb 23, 1996. Publicly Released: Feb 23, 1996.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on public debt ceiling limitations, focusing on: (1) when the outstanding debt subject to the statutory debt limit was within $25 million of the public debt limit between July 1, 1954, and September 30, 1984; (2) debt ceiling crises occurring between September 30, 1984, and February 16, 1996; and (3) revisions to the statutory debt ceiling since June 26, 1946. GAO noted that: (1) Congress has enacted numerous temporary and permanent increases in the debt ceiling, which currently stands at $4.9 trillion; and (2) the public debt limit is very close to the amount of outstanding debt.

Oct 12, 2017

Sep 20, 2017

May 3, 2017

Jan 18, 2017

Jan 17, 2017

Jan 12, 2017

Dec 20, 2016

Dec 8, 2016

  • budget icon, source: GAO

    State and Local Governments' Fiscal Outlook:

    2016 Update
    GAO-17-213SP: Published: Dec 8, 2016. Publicly Released: Dec 8, 2016.

Dec 1, 2016

Nov 17, 2016

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