US Debt Limit Climbs as Spending Deficits Rise
The Budget Control Act, a result of the contentious 2011 debt ceiling debate, increased the debt limit by $2.1 trillion, but failed to rein in the key driver of spending and debt: entitlement spending. Congress first placed a statutory limit on the national debt in 1917, in the Second Liberty Bond Act. It has been raised 13 times since 2001.
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Sources: Congressional Research Service, U.S. Treasury, and Office of Management and Budget.