US edges closer to the debt ceiling

Trump set to begin 2024 presidential campaign tour.


Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Treasury secretary Janet Yellen says the government will enact “extraordinary measures” to keep from reaching the debt ceiling.

Emily Coffey, Managing Editor

This last week in politics presents a national debt crisis, progress on former president Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and the unfolding story of President Joe Biden’s classified documents. Read more for a quick rundown.  


On Jan. 13, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen shared with newly appointed Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy a new issue that the U.S. will face — reaching the debt ceiling. Yellen’s letter to McCarthy said that the national debt ceiling is currently set at $31.381 trillion. 

“As you know, the debt limit is the total amount of money that the United States government is authorized to borrow to meet its existing legal obligations including Social Security and Medicare benefits, military salaries, interest on the national debt, tax refunds, and other payment,” Yellen explained in the letter.  

On Jan. 19, the U.S. is expected to reach the set limit. If Congress does nothing before the ceiling is reached, the government will reach a limit in cash flow for their obligations. Yellen explained that this would have extensive consequences to the economy, Americans’ livelihoods and the stability of global finances. 

As of right now, Yellen is enacting “extraordinary measures” to ensure that the government can continue to provide for the commitments. The measure required to prevent the U.S. from defaulting on its loan payment — increasing the debt ceiling — would come from Congress. Yellen said she hopes the measures will hold the limit until June but urged Congress to take further action.


Former U.S. President Donald Trump is set to visit South Carolina for his first 2024 presidential campaign event on Jan. 28. Trump announced his third bid for candidacy in November, but had rallies limited to Mar-a-Lago in Florida. 

Two South Carolina Republicans will be joining Trump in this event — Senator Lindsey Graham and Governor Henry McMaster. Representatives for Trump said that this will be hosted as an “intimate” event rather than a rally, steering away from his usual campaign approach. 

In 2016, South Carolina edged Trump forward in the primary. In this 2024 election, Trump may face some competition from Senator Tim Scott and United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley. This event will attempt to set him up as the lead Republican nominee. 


On Jan. 9, the White House publicly broke the news that President Biden’s lawyers found classified documents in his personal residence as well as his former office in the Penn Biden Center in Washington, D.C. in early November. Since the initial discovery, 20 documents have been found and date back to Biden’s vice presidency with Obama. The discovery of these documents has led to controversy and comparison to Trump’s similar escapade when classified documents were found in his Mar-A-Lago residence. 

Former U.S. attorney and current special counsel Robert Hur is investigating the matter with a board. Biden’s team denies any wrongdoing and is cooperating fully with the prosecution while publicly seeking to keep the information under wraps

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