"We are approaching a number of other fiscal critical watersheds," Bernanke told the University of Michigan's Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. "We have the funding of the government, we have the so called sequester … and we have the infamous debt ceiling which will come into play."
Echoing comments made earlier in the day by President Barack Obama, Bernanke said raising the debt ceiling merely gives the government the ability to pay its existing bills.
"It doesn't create new deficits, it doesn't create new spending," he said. He said it was like a family deciding that to save money, it won't pay its credit card bill.
"It's very, very important that Congress take necessary action to raise our debt ceiling to avoid a situation where our government doesn't pay its bills," Bernanke said.