us senate raise national debt limit

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    US Senate raise national debt limit

    Thursday 18 November 2004, 10:10 Makka Time, 7:10 GMT

    All US citizens have a $25,000 share of the national debt

    The US Senate has voted to raise the debt ceiling by $800 billion dollars to nearly $8.2 trillion.

    The move on Wednesday allowed the US government to avoid the unwelcome prospect of running short of operating funds.

    By a vote of 52 to 44, lawmakers voted to increase the level of the US debt for the third time in as many years. The House of Representatives was expected to vote on the measure on Thursday.

    The US Treasury Department told lawmakers it needed a vote on the measure by Thursday to avoid a government default.

    Democrats in Congress have decried ballooning US debt, which they warned could reach $14.5 trillion dollars in ten years unless drastic action is taken.


    California Senator Dianne Feinstein told the Senate that "we should be taking concrete steps to lower our budget deficit and reduce our national debt" and poured scorn on US President George Bush's fiscal policies.

    "At the same time he is raising the debt limit, President Bush is promising to cut the deficit in half over the next five years. But his numbers do not add up and he has provided no clear path to achieve this goal," Feinstein added.

    She noted that the rapidly spiraling US debt increasingly has come courtesy of foreign creditors. "What would surprise many ... is that we largely borrow this money from foreign countries, like China, Japan and South Korea," she said.

    "Over the past four years, the US has increased its borrowing from Japan by $700 billion, by $167 billion from China, $130 billion from Great Britain, and $60 billion from South Korea."

    The $800 billion debt level increase is expected to cover federal spending for one year.


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