The White House and the congressional leaders of both parties in Congress have begun maneuvering this week over the issue of the federal debt and what to do when the government hits the latest statutory limit on that debt–$16.394 trillion—which Congress and the president agreed to when they cut a deal on the debt limit last August.
The federal debt is currently $15.709 trillion, or about $685 billion below the limit.
The first spending deal the White House and leaders of both parties in Congress made last year was on March 2. On that day, the president signed a continuing resolution to keep the government funded past March 4, when the previous continuing resolution, passed by a lame-duck Congress in late 2010, expired.
The March 4 CR kept the government funded for two weeks and was approved by a bipartisan 335-91 vote in the House and a bipartisan 91-9 vote in the Senate.