The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Chris Hellman, NPP
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Hitting the Debt Ceiling

New NPP Webinar


The latest webinar from National Priorities Project, Hitting the Debt Ceiling, is a 45-minute presentation (with Q&A) that will introduce people to the current debate in Washington related to raising the legal limit on the U.S. national debt, which will shortly reach $14.3 trillion.

The government is set to officially reach the debt limit by the middle of May. According to Treasury officials, however, emergency measures taken by the Treasury Department combined with higher than expected tax revenues will postpone a potential default until the beginning of August.

Failure to raise the debt ceiling - the total amount that the U.S. government can borrow - would cause the government to default, ending funding for virtually all federal programs and potentially creating an international economic crisis.

NPP answers the questions, "What is the debt ceiling?" and "Why should I care about it?" Hitting the Debt Ceiling will help participants build an informed opinion about a complicated topic and effectively weigh in with elected officials on this critical issue.

The highly charged ongoing political discourse implies that raising the debt ceiling and cutting federal spending are inextricably linked, when in fact, they are not. Hitting the Debt Ceiling will help clarify this complex situation and show what the issues truly are.

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*NOTE - All times are Eastern

Hitting the Debt Ceiling will help participants understand:

  • What the debt ceiling is and how it functions;
  • The current debt ceiling in a historical context - how did we get here?
  • What happens if the current debt ceiling isn't raised; and
  • The ongoing debate in Washington on raising the ceiling

Congress will be forced to address this issue within the next few weeks or months, depending on what stop-gap measures the Treasury Department is able to take. NPP will provide continuing analysis of this important issue. Follow us on our Budget Matters Blog, on Facebook, and on Twitter.

The National Priorities Project (NPP) is a 501(c)(3) research organization that analyzes and clarifies federal data so that people can understand and influence how their tax dollars are spent. Located in Northampton, MA, since 1983, NPP focuses on the impact of federal spending and other policies at the national, state, congressional district and local levels. For more information, go to