Treasury starts rolling back extraordinary measures it used to keep below debt limit

WASHINGTON – The Treasury Department is rolling back the extraordinary measures it’s used since May to keep the government from breaching the debt limit.

As a first step, it will resume sales of state and local government Treasury securities. States and cities use these securities to keep money temporarily before it’s used in such areas as construction projects. Treasury stopped issuing the securities in May to keep the government from exceeding the $16.7 trillion debt limit.

On Wednesday, Congress approved legislation suspending the debt ceiling until Feb. 7. That allows the government to resume borrowing and to halt the book-keeping manoeuvrs it had used to remain under the debt ceiling.