The Debt Limit: History and Recent Increases
A statutory limit on total federal debt has been in place since 1917. In the past decade, Congress has voted to raise the debt limit ten times and it will now have to do so once again.
The history of the debt limit and its current implications were discussed in a recently updated report from the Congressional Research Service. See “The Debt Limit: History and Recent Increases” (pdf), March 7, 2011. And see, relatedly, “Reaching the Debt Limit: Background and Potential Effects on Government Operations,” February 11, 2011.
Reports from the Congressional Research Service have become such an integral part of the national policymaking process that two CRS reports were cited this month in an opinion (pdf) issued by the Justice Department Office of Legal Counsel concerning the President’s constitutional authority to use military force in Libya.
One of the reports addressed “Instances of Use of United States Armed Forces Abroad, 1798-2010” and the other was on “Haiti: Developments and U.S. Policy Since 1991 and Current Congressional Concerns.”
Remarkably, however, neither of the CRS reports that was cited in the OLC opinion is available on any congressional website, since Congress stubbornly opposes direct public access to CRS products. To find them online, one must turn to non-congressional websites.
The FAS Nuclear Notebook is one of the most widely sourced reference materials worldwide for reliable information about the status of nuclear weapons, and has been published in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists since 1987.. The Nuclear Notebook is researched and written by the staff of the Federation of American Scientists’ Nuclear Information Project: Director Hans […]
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A photo in a Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) student briefing from 2022 shows four people inspecting what appears to be a damaged B61 nuclear bomb.
In early-February 2023, the Wall Street Journal reported that U.S. Strategic Command (STRATCOM) had informed Congress that China now has more launchers for Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) than the United States. The report is the latest in a serious of revelations over the past four years about China’s growing nuclear weapons arsenal and the deepening […]