Yellen warns US debt default nearing


The United States may enter a debt default earlier than expected unless a compromise can be reached to meet its obligations, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned on Tuesday.

In a letter to House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, the Treasury secretary urged lawmakers to take action as soon as possible, warning that the nation could be unable to pay its bills by as early as June 1.

The U.S. national debt is an estimated $31.4 trillion, according to the Treasury Department.

“It is impossible to predict with certainty the exact date when Treasury will be unable to pay the government’s bills, and I will continue to update Congress in the coming weeks as more information becomes available,” Yellen wrote. “Given the current projections, it is imperative that Congress act as soon as possible to increase or suspend the debt limit in a way that provides longer-term certainty that the government will continue to make its payments.”

Yellen added that waiting until the last minute to take action has resulted in “serious harm” to business and consumer confidence in the past.

“If Congress fails to increase the debt limit, it would cause severe hardship to American families, harm our global leadership position, and raise questions about our ability to defend our national security interests,” she said.


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