The US government will hit its debt limit in the first week of January, the Treasury Department said on Tuesday, as it pointed to an imminent request for $1.2 trillion increase.
The government is expected to come within $100 billion of the current $15.2 trillion ceiling by the end of the year, Treasury Department officials said.
That effectively puts lawmakers on notice that they will have until mid-January to oppose a fresh increase.
But a reprise of the vicious political debates over the debt ceiling that brought the US to the brink of default over the summer is unlikely.
Congress agreed on July 31 to immediately increase the national debt by $400 billion, and then increase it in stages after that when necessary.
An increase can only be blocked if both the House of Representatives and the Senate pass measures opposing it.
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