Within weeks, the U.S. government could run out of money to pay all of its bills and default on its debt if Congress doesn't reach an agreement and act on the country’s debt limit.
While lawmakers still appear far apart on the details, officials, analysts and economists largely agree on one thing: In the unlikely case the U.S. were to default on its debt, the consequences would be far-reaching.
Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen has predicted that the U.S. could become unable to pay its obligations as soon as June 1. She laid out the stakes in a letter Monday, writing that “if Congress fails to increase the debt limit, it would cause severe hardship to American families, harm our global leadership position, and raise questions about our ability to defend our national security interests.”
The debate surrounding a U.S. debt default — and the economic fallout if it were to occur — may sound abstract, but there are several concrete ways a potential default would affect your wallet.
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