President Barack Obama asked Congress Thursday for a new $1.2 trillion increase in the nation's debt limit.
The request is largely a formality, but it still carries election year implications. That's because America's national debt has climbed well above $15 trillion under the Obama administration.
It now exceeds America's gross domestic product, which some economic analysts see as a point of no return.
"Washington's mounting debt is a drag on our economic recovery," said Brendan Buck, spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio.
"And this request is another reminder that the president has consistently punted on the tough choices needed to rein in the deficit and protect important programs for American seniors from going bankrupt," he added.
Congress has 15 days to accept or reject the president's request.