The U.S. government reached its $16.4 trillion borrowing limit on Monday, according to the Treasury Department.
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner informed congressional leaders in a letter Monday that the government has begun employing “extraordinary measures” to avoid default as it bumps up against the borrowing cap.
Geithner said his agency is beginning a “debt issuance suspension period.”
Geithner said in the letter that the government has suspended investments in a pair of government retirement funds, a move commonly employed by the Treasury when it bumps up against its borrowing cap. Federal retirees and employees will be made whole after the limit is raised.
Geithner warned Congress on Dec. 26 that the government was on track to hit its borrowing cap on New Year’s Eve. In his letter, he said that the $200 billion in extraordinary measures the government has on hand would normally buy two months for lawmakers to haggle over hiking the debt limit.