Lew Pushes Up Debt Limit Deadline Again, Says Funds Will Be Exhausted Nov. 3

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Juliegrace Brufke Capitol Hill Reporter
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Treasury Secretary Jack Lew warned Congress Thursday the government will exhaust its funds by Nov. 3, two days earlier than his original estimate.

In a letter addressed to Speaker of the House John Boehner, Lew said the government will have just $30 billion in funds left — a number that falls far short of the funds needed to meet the country’s financial obligations. Net expenditures can reach up to $60 billion in a day.

“Over the past two weeks, Treasury has continued to receive information about daily receipts, investments, and expenditures,” he wrote. ” The trend in our projected net resources has continued to be negative, and our projections for the relevant period have declined an additional $4-6 billion.”

The Congressional Budget Office released a report Wednesday backing Lew’s claims.

The nonpartisan scorekeeper said if the debt limit — which currently stands at $18.1 trillion — remains unchanged, the country could see a delay in government payments, a default on its outstanding debts and a loss of its ability to borrow funds.

The earlier deadline puts more pressure on lawmakers to come to an agreement. They are already working on a tight schedule to figure out a way to pay the nation’s bills.

Leadership is scurrying to address the issue before Boehner’s departure, but resistance from members of the House Freedom Caucus could make raising the limit difficult.

“The speaker has made it clear that he wants to solve some outstanding issues before he leaves,” a Boehner spokesman said Wednesday. “No decisions have been made, but a resolution on the debt ceiling is certainly possible.”

Lew cautioned that if the limit isn’t raised, the country’s creditworthiness could deplete and have a disastrous impact on the global economy.

“Moreover, as you know, increasing the debt limit does not authorize any new spending,” he said. “It simply allows Treasury to pay for expenditures Congress already has approved, in full and on time.”

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