US Keeps Quarterly Debt Sales Steady Ahead of Debt-Limit Endgame

The US Treasury held steady its quarterly sales of longer-term debt, matching widespread expectations among bond dealers, given the standoff in Washington over expanding the government’s borrowing authority.

In a quarterly announcement on debt-management strategy released Wednesday, the Treasury Department said it “believes that current issuance sizes leave it well-positioned to address a range of potential borrowing needs” over the three months through April.

The department is now operating under the constraints of the $31.4 trillion debt ceiling, having hit the level last month and begun using special accounting maneuvers to help preserve borrowing room.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has signaled to Congress that those measures shouldn’t run out before early June, and the Treasury reiterated that estimate in its refunding statement Wednesday.

While keeping the plans for longer-term Treasuries steady, the Treasury advised that issuance of shorter-dated securities may be volatile as it works to stay under the overall federal debt ceiling.