WASHINGTON, March 9 (Reuters) - U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Thursday called on Congress to raise the federal debt ceiling at the "earliest opportunity" as the Treasury announced the first of several expected cash management measures to avoid a U.S. default.
The Treasury said it would suspend sales of State and Local Government Series securities, known as "slugs", effective noon EDT on March 15. A debt ceiling suspension expires at the end of that day.
"Honoring the full faith and credit of our outstanding debt is a critical commitment," Mnuchin wrote in a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan on Thursday. "I encourage Congress to raise the debt limit at the first opportunity so that we can proceed with our joint priorities." (Reporting by David Lawder; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)