WASHINGTON — Treasury Secretary Nicholas F. Brady has urged the Senate to increase the national debt ceiling by $300 billion before its August recess to avert problems with issuing paychecks and Social Security payments.
"If the Congress were to recess before the debt limit is increased--in addition to very likely defaulting on interest payments and other obligations--the United States could not honor $3 billion of military retirement and salary payments on Aug. 31 or payments totaling over $20 billion to Social Security and supplemental security income recipients, railroad and civil service retirees and veterans on Sept. 1," Brady said in letters to Senate leaders.
Copies of the letters, dated Friday, were released Tuesday.
"Our current estimates show that the permanent debt ceiling of $2.8 trillion will be sufficient only to early August," Brady said.
Brady said the $3.1-trillion limit in the House-passed version of the debt ceiling bill would be sufficient until the end of fiscal year 1990, which ends Sept. 30.