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Janet Yellen. Photo: Samuel Corum/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned congressional leaders in a letter Monday that the Treasury will take "extraordinary measures" to manage its cash and not exceed the debt limit through Dec. 3, the earliest deadline for lawmakers to once again raise the debt limit or risk a default.

Driving the news: Congress last week averted a government default by raising the borrowing cap by $480 billion, after a protracted partisan battle.

What they're saying: "The recent increase in the debt limit provides only a temporary reprieve, and Treasury will need to use certain extraordinary measures through December 3," Yellen wrote.

  • Yellen added that it is "imperative" that Congress either increase or suspend the debt limit "in a way that provides longer-term certainty" that the government will meet its financial obligations.

Flashback: In September, Yellen warned that Congress failing to act on the debt ceiling prior to the deadline would "precipitate a historic financial crisis." Yellen voiced support for abolishing the federal debt limit, calling it "destructive."

Go deeper

Nov 17, 2021 - Podcasts

Taking on the debt ceiling with a trillion dollar coin

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned in a letter to lawmakers on Tuesday that the federal government will run out of money to pay its bills as soon as Dec. 15 if the debt ceiling is not suspended or raised.

One idea to ensure the government does not default, even if the debt ceiling is not raised, is to mint a trillion-dollar coin. Yellen has called this a gimmick, but some economists insist it’s a legitimate finance trick that can be used to stave off a default. 

Axios Re:Cap host Felix Salmon is joined by former U.S. Mint Director Philip Diehl to discuss the idea behind the trillion-dollar coin and whether it’s remotely likely to be minted in the next month.

Signs of stress in the Treasury market

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A who’s who of financial regulatory agencies are convening Wednesday to talk about how to ensure the $22 trillion Treasury market functions properly.

At issue: Fixing liquidity problems that have, at times, exacerbated price swings.

Prosecutors “haven’t ruled out” charging school officials in Michigan shooting

Michigan school officials had the legal grounds to search alleged shooter Ethan Crumbley's backpack and locker but did not to do so, Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald told CNN Monday.

Catch up quick: Crumbley has been charged with numerous felony counts related to terrorism and murder after opening fire at Oxford High School, killing four students and wounding seven other people.