updated 9/16/2009 8:56:09 AM ET 2009-09-16T12:56:09

The Treasury Department said Wednesday it will begin winding down one of the emergency programs created at the height of the financial crisis to give the government more time before it hits the national debt limit.

Treasury said in a statement that it planned to trim the size of its Supplementary Account to $15 billion. The program is currently running around $200 billion, down from a maximum of $560 billion that it reached last year.

By reducing the size of the program implemented to help fund financial rescue efforts, Treasury will buy about six weeks of maneuvering room before it hits the current debt limit of $12.1 trillion.

Congress has yet to agree to a request from Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to boost the debt limit. That debate is expected to be particularly divisive given the view of Republicans that the Obama administration has failed to put forward a credible plan of getting the government's soaring deficits under control.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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