Washington, DC, United States (4E) – In a letter to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), Lew said that the Treasury has taken extraordinary measures to keep under the debt limit, though those measures are likely to be exhausted in less than three weeks.
The federal government’s legal borrowing limit ends Friday, with the expiration of the debt ceiling suspension, which prevents it from raising its public debt above $17tn.
In an October accord, Congress temporarily lifted the borrowing cap, which allowed the Treasury to sell debt as needed until Feb. 7.
Congressional Republicans are demanding concessions in exchange for extending the suspension of the debt limit, though there is no consensus on exactly what.
Mr. Lew told lawmakers that it is difficult to predict exactly when the Treasury’s borrowing capacity will be completely exhausted. On Friday, the Treasury suspended the selling of state and local government series of non-marketable securities.
Several business groups have also urged lawmakers to take steps to allow the raising of the debt limit.