P.M. Briefing : Debt Ceiling Forces Treasury to Postpone Borrowing Auctions

From Times Wire Services

The Treasury Department announced today it has postponed $40 billion in borrowing auctions this week because of congressional failure to raise the debt limit.

"The postponement of these auctions is necessary because Congress has not completed action on legislation to increase the statutory debt limit. . . , " the Treasury said.

The department lost its borrowing authority Oct. 31 when the debt limit fell from $2.87 trillion to $2.8 trillion, a level the Treasury already has reached.

House Speaker Thomas S. Foley (D-Wash.) said after closed-door meetings on Monday that leaders are hoping to pass a new debt ceiling in time for President Bush to sign it on Wednesday.

The Treasury had planned to auction $10 billion in three-year notes today, $10 billion in 10-year notes on Wednesday and $10 billion in 30-year bonds on Thursday. In addition it planned to sell $10 billion in 36-day cash management bills on Thursday.

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