THE ADMINISTRATION: Fixing the Ceiling

Without benefit of bulletins or headlines, one of the biggest battles of the 83rd Congress was being noiselessly fought out last week in urgent conferences. At the Treasury Department and on Capitol Hill, Secretary of the Treasury George Humphrey and Senate finance leaders were arguing about the $275 billion ceiling on the national debt.

It is not a new problem. A year ago Humphrey warned Congress that the ceiling had to go up. He asked that it be raised to $290 billion. The House promptly voted the increase, but the Senate, under pressure from Virginia's economy-minded Harry Byrd, declined to act....

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