Sometime in March is likely to be the next deadline for Congress to vote to raise the debt ceiling.
That estimate is from the Bipartisan Policy Center, a think tank that tracks the government's spending and tax revenues to provide guidance on the federal debt limit.
But Shai Akabas, the organization's director of economic policy, said that the uncertainty of that deadline "cannot be overstated," thanks in part to the as-yet-unknown costs of damages from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma and the possibility of tax cuts.
Congress voted Friday to again suspend the debt ceiling until Dec. 9. At that point, it will be reinstated at whatever the current level of debt is. Yet, the Treasury secretary will again have the ability to shuffle government accounts around to free up space under the limit, as he has been doing for the past few months.
At some point, however, the Treasury will no longer have the ability to guarantee that it can pay all incoming bills in full and on time. Right now, it looks like that moment could come in March, according to the think tank.
That means that Friday's vote will likely entail two separate fiscal showdowns in the months ahead. Congress will also have to vote again before Dec. 9 to authorize government spending to prevent a government shutdown then.
As for the debt ceiling, President Trump has expressed interest in eliminating it so that a vote from Congress is no longer needed for the Treasury to continue issuing bonds.