EconomyNorth America

US debt spikes to $17 trillion after debt ceiling lifted

330089_Treasury BuildingThe US Treasury Department has announced that the public debt of the United States reached to a record of $17.076 trillion for the first time in the county’s history.

The national debt jumped $329 billion from $16.747 trillion after the Congress decided to raise the country’s debt ceiling, the department said on Friday.

The unprecedented figure came after Wednesday’s agreement suspended the debt ceiling until Feb. 7 and ended the impasse over the debt ceiling and a temporary shutdown of the federal government.

Under the current deal, the US government is able to borrow as much money as it needs to cover obligations now. It can also use months of extraordinary measures once again to keep the government running if Congress again were to refuse to raise the debt ceiling, The Hill reported.

The country’s debt stood at $10.627 trillion on the day President Barack Obama took office. Under the Obama’s administration, $6.5 trillion has been added to the nation’s credit card.

On Friday, Republicans lashed out at the new debt figures.

“For the first time in our nation’s history, our national debt has topped $17 trillion. This is unacceptable,” Republican Senator Ted Cruz tweeted.

Meanwhile, a new poll by Pew Research Center showed that an overwhelming majority of Americans are not satisfied with Congress and the government’s performance.

According to the survey, only 19 percent of respondents said they trust the federal government and only 23 percent of Americans had a favorable view of Congress.

The American people blame lawmakers rather than the political system more generally for the problems in Congress.

About 58 percent said “the political system can work fine, it’s the members of Congress that are the problem” and just 32 percent said “most members of Congress have good intentions, it’s the political system that is broken.”

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