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                                                       Calendar No. 384
110th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE
 1st Session                                                    110-184

======================================================================



 
           INCREASING THE STATUTORY LIMIT ON THE PUBLIC DEBT

                                _______
                                

               September 24, 2007.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

   Mr. Baucus, from the Committee on Finance, submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                      [To accompany H.J. Res. 43]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Finance, to which was referred the joint 
resolution (H.J. Res. 43) increasing the statutory limit on the 
public debt, reports favorably thereon and recommends that the 
joint resolution do pass.

                             I. BACKGROUND

    The statutory limit on the public debt currently is $8.965 
trillion. It was set at this level in P.L. 109-182, enacted 
into law on March 20, 2006. It is projected that the current 
debt limit will be reached in early October 2007.
    House Rule XXVIII provides that when the conference report 
on the Concurrent Resolution on the Budget is adopted, the 
House is deemed to have passed a joint resolution increasing 
the debt limit by a specified amount. For the conference report 
on the budget resolution passed this year, that amount is $850 
billion. This amount would increase the debt limit to $9.815 
trillion.
    On July 30th of this year, Treasury Secretary Henry M. 
Paulson, Jr. informed the committee that the Treasury 
Department projected that the statutory debt limit would be 
reached in early October 2007. Secretary Paulson further wrote 
that the actions that are available to the Treasury Department 
to take in order to avoid breaching the statutory debt limit 
would create unnecessary uncertainty for the financial markets 
and result in costs to the government. The Secretary stressed 
that these actions should be reserved only for extraordinary 
circumstances and should be avoided.

                      II. EXPLANATION OF PROVISION

    The proposal would concur with the joint resolution and 
increase the statutory limit on the public debt by $850 billion 
to $9.815 trillion.

          III. REGULATORY IMPACT STATEMENT AND RELATED MATTERS

    Pursuant to the requirements of paragraph 11(b) of rule 
XXVI of the Standing Rules of the Senate, the committee states 
that the resolution will not significantly regulate any 
individuals or businesses, will not affect the personal privacy 
of individuals, and will result in no significant additional 
paperwork.
    The following information is provided in accordance with 
section 423 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA) 
(Pub. L. No. 104-04). The committee has reviewed the provisions 
of H.J. Res. 43, as reported. In accordance with the 
requirement of Public Law 104-04, the committee has determined 
that the resolution contains no intergovernmental mandates, as 
defined in the UMRA, and would not affect the budgets of state, 
local, or tribal governments.

                           IV. BUDGET EFFECTS

    In compliance with paragraph 11(a) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the following statement is made 
relative to the budget effects of H.J. Res. 43, as reported.
    The committee states that H.J. Res. 43 does not provide new 
budgetary authority or provide an increase or decrease in 
revenue or tax expenditures in the current fiscal year or in 
any of the five fiscal years to follow.
    In accordance with section 402 of the Congressional Budget 
Act of 1974, the committee submits the following statement from 
the Congressional Budget Office:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                Washington, DC, September 20, 2007.
Hon. Max Baucus,
Chairman, Committee on Finance,
U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.J. Res. 43, a joint 
resolution increasing the statutory limit on the public debt.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Eric 
Schatten.
            Sincerely,
                                         Robert A. Sunshine
                                   (For Peter R. Orszag, Director).
    Enclosure.

H.J. Res. 43--A joint resolution increasing the statutory limit on the 
        public debt

    Summary: H.J. Res. 43 would increase the statutory limit on 
the public debt from $8.965 trillion to $9.815 trillion. CBO 
estimates that this measure, by itself, would result in no 
costs or savings to the federal government because it would not 
change any of the government's tax or spending policies.
    H.J. Res. 43 contains no intergovernmental or private-
sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act 
and would have no direct impact on the budgets of state, local, 
or tribal governments.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Eric Schatten. 
This estimate was approved by Peter H. Fontaine, Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                        V. VOTE OF THE COMMITTEE

    On September 12, 2007, the joint resolution H.J. Res. 43 
was ordered favorably reported by a voice vote with a quorum 
present. (Note: Senator Ensign asked for the record to reflect 
that he voted nay.)
    No amendments were offered.

                      VI. CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW

    Pursuant to the requirements of paragraph 12 of rule XXVI 
of the Standing Rules of the Senate, changes in existing law 
made by the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing 
law proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new 
matter is printed in italic, existing law in which no change is 
proposed is shown in roman):

UNITED STATES CODE

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                      TITLE 31--MONEY AND FINANCE

                   Subtitle III--Financial Management

                        CHAPTER 31--PUBLIC DEBT


Subchapter I--Borrowing Authority

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



SEC. 13101. PUBLIC DEBT LIMIT.

    (a) In this section, the current redemption value of an 
obligation issued on a discount basis and redeemable before 
maturity at the option of its holder is deemed to be the face 
amount of the obligation.
    (b) The face amount of obligations issued under this 
chapter and the face amount of obligations whose principal and 
interest are guaranteed by the United States Government (except 
guaranteed obligations held by the Secretary of the Treasury) 
may not be more than [$8,965,000,000,000] $9,815,000,000,000, 
outstanding at one time, subject to changes periodically made 
in that amount as provided by law through the congressional 
budget process described in rule XLIX of the Rules of the House 
of Representatives or otherwise.

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