Friday, December 10, 2021 13:16:17 UTC

The U.S. Senate passed and sent to President Biden the first of two bills required to raise the $28.9 trillion debt limit and avoid default.

The federal debt is the amount of money the government currently owes for spending on payments such as Social Security, Medicare, military salaries and tax refunds.

The debt limit allows the government to finance those existing obligations.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has said failing to act could spark an "economic catastrophe," but not all politicians agree.(More)

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