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Feds set new debt limit at $16.699 trillion

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The Treasury Department said Tuesday that the federal government’s new borrowing limit is $16.699 trillion — an increase of $305 million over the previous limit in February.

Congress earlier this year gave the Obama administration an extraordinary three-month holiday from having to worry about the debt limit, saying that any debt built up between Feb. 4 and May 19 would be added, and wherever the debt stood on May 19 would become the new limit.

On Tuesday the Treasury Department announced that new limit would be $16.699 trillion, up from the $16.394 trillion level it was in February.

Under the terms of the February law, the government is already bumping up against that new limit, and Treasury officials have said they are using special techniques to prevent breaching the limit. Those measures could keep the government below the limit through the fall.

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