U.S. national debt surpassed $31 trillion for the first time October 2022, according to the Treasury Department. A whopping $8 trillion were added since the start of the coronavirus pandemic in early 2020.
The U.S. has seen three Republican and three Democratic administrations since the 1980s, but no matter who is in the White House, U.S. debt has been rising steadily throughout the years, also expanding the debt ceiling in the process. Despite Democrats and Republicans equally expanding debt while in office, the necessary raising of the debt ceiling is routinely causing a fair share of debate - often stretching until the last minute of the country's solvency.
On December 16, 2021, Congress last raised of the debt ceiling to $31.38 trillion. The debt ceiling says that the Treasury Department is not allowed to go into debt beyond a certain limit unless explicitly authorized by lawmakers. However, the amount stipulated in late 2021 has been exceeded since January 19. While the debt ceiling was not suspended this year, financial maneuvering - also referred to as extraordinary measures - has been keeping the U.S. from defaulting on its debt. Secretary of the Treasure Janet Yellen has most recently said that this could keep the country open until approximately June 1.