What’s the debt ceiling, and why is everyone in Washington talking about it?

The Washington Post

April 18, 2011


The legal limit on borrowing by the federal government. Before 1917, Congress had to approve borrowing each time it came up. In order to allow for more flexibility as the nation entered World War I, lawmakers agreed to give the federal government blanket approval for most types of borrowing — as long as the total was less than an established limit.
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