Treasury Department debt managers intend to soon carry out an accounting maneuver that would free billions of dollars on paper to prevent the government from breaching the $6.4 trillion ceiling on the national debt.
The step, announced Friday, is the latest in a series of moves Treasury has taken to prevent the government from defaulting on the national debt.
Treasury is maneuvering because it has run out of room in its statutory authority to borrow. It has asked Congress to boost the government borrowing authority, a matter still pending on Capitol Hill.
Treasury Secretary John Snow, in a letter Friday to House and Senate leaders of both parties, notified them that the department will - on paper - suspend new investments in Treasury securities that would be credited to the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund.