The total national debt in the United States is set to hit the $20 trillion mark around the time President Barack Obama leaves office in 2017.
Obama on Monday signed a two-year budget deal with congressional Republicans, which averts a potential government shutdown over the nation’s debt limit.
The agreement will suspend the debt ceiling until March 16, 2017 and allow the Treasury Department to borrow another $1.5 trillion, according to The Washington Times.
That would add to the current national debt of more than $18.15 trillion, raising the red ink to about $20 trillion.
When Obama took office in January 2009, the national debt stood at $10.6 trillion. That means the debt will nearly have doubled by the time he leaves the White House in January 2017.
Obama’s top priority in budget talks with the Republican-controlled Congress was to lift spending caps set in 2011 known as “sequestrations.”
“Congress and the president have just agreed to undo one of the only successful fiscal restraint mechanisms in a generation,” said Pete Sepp, president of the National Taxpayers Union. “The progress on reducing spending and the deficit has just become much more problematic.”
The spending agreement, reached in the final days of John Boehner’s speakership, will for now end the long-running fiscal battles between the president and congressional leaders.
“The Boehner-Obama spending agreement would allow for unlimited borrowing by the Treasury until March 2017,” said Paul Winfree, director of economic policy studies at the Heritage Foundation.