Treasury to reach debt limit by mid-October


The U.S. Treasury will reach its debt limit in mid-October, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said Monday in a letter appealing to Congress to allow the government to borrow more money.

"Congress should act as soon as possible to protect America's good credit by extending normal borrowing authority well before any risk of default becomes imminent," Lew said in the letter, addressed to House Speaker John Boehner.

"Operating the government with no borrowing authority, and with only the cash on hand on a given day, would place the United States in an unacceptable position," Lew said. "Extending borrowing authority does not increase government spending; it simply allows the Treasury to pay for expenditures Congress has previously approved," he said.

In the summer of 2011 a fight over the government's debt limit turned into a crisis that weighed heavily on markets.

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Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said earlier this year that the debt ceiling was unlikely to be reached until September.

"People shouldn't relax, Congress should deal with this right away. The uncertainty caused by putting this off is not good. The anxiety caused to the U.S. and world economy by putting this off until the last minute is not good," Lew said at the time.

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