With Republicans and Democrats at loggerheads about how to raise the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling, House Speaker John Boehner and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner have both indicated that debt limit legislation must be introduced in the House today in order for it to win approval from both houses of Congress and President Obama by August 2, when the Treasury Department says the U.S. will default on its spending obligations. So, will Monday bring big news on the legislative front--some meaningful breakthrough in the political gridlock? If lawmakers' history of missing debt limit deadlines over the past several months is any indication, we shouldn't hold our breath. Let's review:
May 16 - In three letters to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Speaker John Boehner on January 6, April 4, and May 2, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner urges Congress to raise the debt ceiling by May 16 or risk a U.S. default. When Congress misses the deadline, the Treasury Department takes "extraordinary measures" to "temporarily postpone the date that the United States would otherwise default on its obligations" to August 2, when "the borrowing authority of the United States will be exhausted."