The U.S. Treasury Department will begin taking money from the $65 billion Federal Employees Retirement System so the federal government can meet its obligations if Congress does not increase the nation's $8 trillion debt limit, according to a letter written Tuesday to Congress by Treasury Secretary John Snow. In the letter, Mr. Snow stated that the debt limit would be reached by today, and the government would deplete the pension assets in about a month. Currently, the federal government has only about $38.3 billion left that can be issued in debt.
The move has been used by other treasury secretaries in the past, when the government was in danger of exceeding its debt ceiling.
In the letter, Mr. Snow said that once the borrowing level is increased, the government will replace all of the money taken out of the fund.
Brookly McLaughlin, a Treasury spokeswoman, did not return calls by press time.