Lew: The Government Runs Out of Money in 3 Weeks

Jack Lew says we need a debt ceiling deal by Oct. 17
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 25, 2013 11:19 AM CDT
Lew: The Government Runs Out of Money in 3 Weeks
Jack Lew, seen in this file photo, thinks investors are being a little too sanguine about the prospect of a debt ceiling deal.   (AP Photo/Kostas Tsironis, Pool)

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew today for the first time offered a debt ceiling deadline—and it's pretty soon. In a letter to John Boehner, Lew said the government will be unable to pay its bills unless Congress passes a debt limit bump by Oct. 17. On that day, the government will be down to its last $30 billion, which "would be far short of net expenditures." The date is essentially in line with what Congress expected, Politico reports.

Yesterday, Lew told a Bloomberg summit that investors seemed a little too confident that a deal would come. "People have to take seriously the fact that Congress has a lot of work to do." Some analysts are starting to do just that, Business Insider reports. One DC-based analyst today estimated that there is a 40% chance of a default—and he's basing the other 60% on "blind faith." On the bright side, Moody's yesterday said that hitting the ceiling probably wouldn't prompt a US credit rating downgrade, Reuters reports. (More Jack Lew stories.)

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