Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Thursday began taking
“extraordinary measures” to delay the U.S. government from defaulting on
its obligations, as he called on House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) to
lift the debt ceiling “at its first opportunity.”
Mnuchin, in a letter to Ryan,
said Treasury was now suspending the sale of certain state and local
securities, a practice the federal government normally performs to
assist with tax policies. Treasury will soon likely suspend payments to
certain pension funds as it tries to delay, as long as possible, falling
behind on other payments. Eventually, though, it will run out of
options and not have enough money to pay its bills.
“As I said in
my confirmation hearing, honoring the full faith and credit of our
outstanding debt is a critical commitment,” Mnuchin wrote to Ryan.