US national debt tops $20T for first time in history

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Why Trump struck a bipartisan deal with Democrats on the debt ceiling

Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) discusses President Trump's decision to reach across the aisle and work with the Democrats on extending the debt ceiling.

The national debt surpassed $20 trillion for the first time in U.S. history on Friday.

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According to data released Monday, the total national debt climbed about $318 billion to $20.162 trillion as of Friday, the same day President Donald Trump signed a bill suspending the debt ceiling and allowing the federal borrowing limit to extend until Dec. 8. The deal Trump signed, which also allocated more than $15 billion in disaster aid for Hurricane Harvey, was passed 316-90 in a House vote; all opposed to the measure were Republicans.

“Surpassing $20 trillion in debt is the latest indicator of our nation's dire fiscal condition,” Michael A. Peterson, president and CEO of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, a non-partisan organization dedicated to addressing America’s long-term fiscal challenges, said in a statement. “As a result of our inability to address our growing debt, we are now on pace to spend $6 trillion on interest alone over the next 10 years.”

The U.S. debt ceiling had been capped at around $19.84 trillion since March 15. The 2017 fiscal year budget expires at the end of September.

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“America’s debt is projected to grow and compound rapidly in the years ahead. Our budget deficit is on track to exceed $1 trillion annually in just five years,” Peterson said. “The good news is that many solutions exist. In the coming months, Congress and the administration have a critical opportunity to enact fiscally responsible tax reform that grows the economy, not the debt.”

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