The United States to reach its debt limit on Thursday.

The US Treasury Secretary, Janet Yellen, has informed Congress that the US is expected to reach its debt limit on Thursday, January 19, and will then resort to “extraordinary measures” to avoid default.

Yellen said in a letter to House and Senate leaders on Friday that her actions will buy time until Congress can pass legislation to either increase or suspend the nation’s $31.4 trillion borrowing authority.

To “protect the full faith and credit of the United States,” she urged lawmakers to take swift action and raise the debt ceiling.

Failure to fulfill the government’s obligations, according to her, would be irreparable harm to the US economy, all Americans’ livelihoods, and the stability of the global financial system.

Republicans, who now control the House, have threatened to use the debt ceiling as a weapon to pressure Democrats and the Biden administration into cutting spending. This has sparked worries in Washington and on Wall Street about a rough battle over the debt ceiling this year that could be at least as upsetting as the protracted battle of 2011, which led to the brief downgrading of the US credit rating and years of forced domestic and military spending cuts.

Late on Friday, The Washington Post reported that House Republicans had created an emergency strategy for going over the debt limit. According to the newspaper, the proposal, which was still in the early stages of development, would instruct the treasury department to give particular payments priority if the US exceeds its debt ceiling.

Following Yellen’s letter, the White House declared on Friday that it will not negotiate a raise in the debt ceiling.

Kevin McCarthy, the new House speaker, told reporters at his first press conference that he had a “very good conversation” with Biden about the upcoming debt ceiling debate. “We don’t want to put any fiscal problems on our economy, and we won’t, but fiscal problems would be doing business as usual”.

According to the Washington Post, a proposal from House Republicans would require the Biden administration to make only the most critical federal payments if the Treasury Department reaches the statutory limit on how much it can legally borrow. According to the newspaper’s sources, the plan will require the department to continue making interest payments on the debt.

The newspaper also reported that the House Republicans’ payment prioritization plan might require the Treasury Department to continue funding the military and making payments for social security, Medicare, and veterans’ benefits.

Even though the Treasury is unable to predict how long the extraordinary measures will keep the US from defaulting on its debts, Yellen said that it is unlikely that they will run out before early June.