Congress avoided a government shutdown Thursday just hours before funding would have lapsed. President Joe Biden signed a short-term appropriations bill that will keep the government running through Dec. 3. Washington had to beat a midnight deadline to prevent a shutdown of some federal operations. However, lawmakers still remain bitterly divided over raising the debt ceiling, as the time to reach an agreement ticks down.
CNN Business/Julia Horowitz
Congress prevented one crisis. Another looms
Congress started the week with an urgent to-do list. It may have crossed off one item, but crucial issues concerning investors still haven’t been resolved.
What’s happening: US President Joe Biden signed a stopgap funding bill Thursday night to avert a government shutdown. That’s good news. Yet lawmakers remain bitterly divided over raising the debt ceiling, as time to reach an agreement ticks down.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned earlier this week that the government is set to reach its borrowing limit by Oct. 18. If action isn’t taken before then, it could trigger the first-ever US default, which businesses have warned could deal a huge blow to the economy and cause market chaos.
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ABC News/Sarah Kolinovsky
What the debt ceiling is, and why you should care about it
While the concept of the debt ceiling might seem “in the weeds,” it actually poses a very real threat to millions of Americans in a precarious economic period.
If lawmakers on Capitol Hill remain deadlocked on raising the debt ceiling, the government could go into default — essentially, unable to pay bills. That would directly impact the wallets of millions of Americans, including those who invest in the stock market and those who benefit from government programs such as Social Security and Medicaid.
“It would be disastrous for the American economy, for global financial markets, and for millions of families and workers whose financial security would be jeopardized by delayed payments,” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned lawmakers in a hearing Tuesday.
Raising the debt ceiling, she said, is “necessary to avert a catastrophic event for our economy.”
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Worried about inflation? Here’s how to protect your retirement portfolio
Rising inflation suddenly has Americans even more worried about their retirement.
Prices for goods and services have been moving higher over the last several months and, for the first time in a long stretch, it’s top of mind for consumers.
“We have had such a benign environment from the standpoint of inflation, so I think we all got a bit complacent,” said Christine Benz, head of personal finance at Morningstar. “Inflation had been so low for so long.”
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