WASHINGTON — President Reagan signed legislation Friday increasing the nation's debt limit to $2.32 trillion and averting a possible government shutdown.
Reagan signed the bill a day after the Senate gave final congressional approval.
Without Reagan's signature, the current temporary debt limit of $2.3 trillion would have dropped at midnight to $2.1 trillion, with government debt already above that figure.
Extension of the national debt ceiling will last through July 17, when the ceiling will again drop to $2.1 trillion.
Reagan had requested a long-term increase in the debt ceiling through Sept. 30, 1988. But he accepted the short-term extension to prevent Sen. Phil Gramm (R-Tex.) from attaching an amendment requiring automatic spending cuts if Congress misses deficit reduction targets set by the balanced budget law he helped write.
Gramm agreed to delay introduction of his budget-cutting measure until the next debt ceiling bill is ready for debate in July.