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31 U.S. Code § 3123 - Payment of obligations and interest on the public debt

The faith of the United States Government is pledged to pay, in legal tender, principal and interest on the obligations of the Government issued under this chapter.
The Secretary of the Treasury shall pay interest due or accrued on the public debt. As the Secretary considers expedient, the Secretary may pay in advance interest on the public debt by a period of not more than one year, with or without a rebate of interest on the coupons.
The Secretary may issue a bond, note, or certificate of indebtedness authorized under this chapter whose principal and interest are payable in a foreign currency stated in the bond, note, or certificate. The Secretary may dispose of the bonds, notes, and certificates at a price that is at least par value without complying with section 3102(b)–(d) of this title.
In determining the dollar amount of bonds, notes, and certificates of indebtedness that may be issued under this chapter, the dollar equivalent of the amount of bonds, notes, and certificates payable in a foreign currency is determined by the par of the exchange value on the date of issue of the bonds, notes, or certificates as published by the Secretary under section 5151 of this title.
The Secretary may designate depositaries in foreign countries in which any part of the proceeds of bonds, notes, or certificates of indebtedness payable in the foreign currency may be deposited.
(Pub. L. 97–258, Sept. 13, 1982, 96 Stat. 945.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Revised Section

Source (U.S. Code)

Source (Statutes at Large)



R.S. § 3693.


31:753(d)(2d sentence).

Sept. 24, 1917, ch. 56, 40 Stat. 288, § 18(d)(2d sentence); added Mar. 3, 1919, ch. 100, § 1, 40 Stat. 1310.


31:768(words before semicolon).

Feb. 4, 1910, ch. 25, § 1(words before semicolon), 36 Stat. 192.



R.S. § 3698.


31:733(words before semicolon).

R.S. § 3699(words before semicolon); restated Jan. 30, 1934, ch. 6, § 9, 48 Stat. 341.



Sept. 24, 1917, ch. 56, 40 Stat. 288, § 16; added Apr. 4, 1918, ch. 44, § 6, 40 Stat. 505; Nov. 13, 1966, Pub. L. 89–809, § 401, 80 Stat. 1590.

In subsection (a), the words “legal tender” are substituted for “in coin or its equivalent” in 31:731 and “gold coin of the present standard of value” in section 1 of the Act of Feb. 1, 1910, and section 18(d)(2d sentence) of the Second Liberty Bond Act because of section 1 of the Act of June 5, 1933 (ch. 48, 48 Stat. 113). The words “obligations of the Government” are substituted for 31:731(1st sentence 18th–last words), “thereof” in 31:753(d), and 31:768(1st 17 words) for clarity and consistency and to eliminate unnecessary words. The text of 31:731(last sentence) is omitted as executed.

In subsection (b), the words “cause to be”, “out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated”, “falling”, “any portion of”, and “authorized by law” in 31:732 are omitted as surplus. The text of 31:733(words between semicolon and colon) is omitted as unnecessary because of chapter 53 of the revised title. The text of 31:733(words after colon) is omitted as superseded by the Bretton Woods Agreement Act (22 U.S.C. 286 et seq.) and sections 6 and 9 of the Act of Oct. 19, 1976 (Pub. L. 94–564, 90 Stat. 2661), repealing 31:449 that provided for parity of the dollar on terms of gold and special drawing rights.

In subsection (c), the word “currency” is substituted for “money or . . . moneys” for clarity and because of 1:1.

In subsection (c)(1), the words “but not also in United States gold coin” and “in such manner” are omitted as surplus.

In subsection (c)(2), the words “dollar” before “amount”, and “value”, are added for clarity. The words “estimated by the Director of the Mint, and” are omitted because of the source provisions restated in section 321(c) of the revised title. The word “published” is substituted for “proclaimed” for clarity.

In subsection (c)(3), the words “as he may determine” are omitted as surplus.