January 12,2012

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Julia Lawless, Antonia Ferrier,  202.224.4515

In Letter to Treasury, Hatch Requests Information on “Extraordinary Measures” It Can Take Before Debt Limit Reached

Utah Senator Asks for Assurances that Social Security Payments, Troop Pay Aren’t Interrupted

WASHINGTON – In a letter today, U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee, called on Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to provide detailed information regarding the extraordinary measures it will have to take to ensure that the nation’s debt remains at or below the limit. Hatch’s letter comes on the heels of the Obama Administration’s request to Congress today to raise the nation’s debt limit. 

Last year, during the debt ceiling debate, Hatch wrote to the eight members of the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSCO), the group charged with monitoring the financial stability of the nation, asking for detailed information about how much money the Treasury Department has and requested a detailed contingency plan if the nation would ever default or face a downgrade of its credit rating. The Treasury Department did not fully provide Hatch with the information he requested.

A copy of the letter follows:

January 12, 2012

The Honorable Timothy Geithner
Department of the Treasury
1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20220

Dear Secretary Geithner:

President Obama, today, certified that the debt subject to limit is within $100 billion of the debt limit and that further borrowing is requested.  According to the January 10, 2012 Daily Treasury Statement, the amount of debt subject to the limit was $25 million below the statutory debt limit of $15.194 trillion.  This suggests that Treasury is now, or will in the near future, resort to “extraordinary” measures to ensure that total public debt subject to the limit remains at or below the statutory debt limit.

Please provide me with information about your intended use of extraordinary measures to ensure that debt remains at or below the limit and that Treasury will have sufficient operating cash to meet all due obligations in the near future. 

Please also provide me with Treasury obligations over the next 30 days to the Social Security Trust Funds, including reimbursement obligations required under conditions of the payroll tax holiday, along with plans by Treasury to make certain that there will be no threats to timely payments by Treasury to Social Security beneficiaries, the Social Security Trust Funds, and our troops.