What will happen if the U.S. hits the debt ceiling?

Source: nbcnews.com nbcnews.com

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WASHINGTON — With congressional leaders seemingly at a stalemate over a deal to raise the nation’s debt ceiling, the risks are growing that the U.S. could run out of money to pay all its bills by as early as next week — putting the country in uncharted waters as to what happens next. The debt ceiling refers to a law that caps the total amount of federal debt allowed to be outstanding. The U.S. hit that limit in January, but the Treasury Department says it has been using workarounds, or what it calls “extraordinary measures,” to keep the government paying...