U.S. Treasury: Brief shutdown would not buy much time on debt ceiling


WASHINGTON, Oct 1 (Reuters) - The partial shutdown of theU.S. government would probably not buy the government much moretime to raise its limit on borrowing in order to avert a defaulton the nation's obligations, a Treasury spokesperson said onTuesday.

The Treasury expects the government will no longer be ableto add to the national debt legally by October 17 unlessCongress authorizes more borrowing to pay the nation's bills.

"It is unlikely that a brief government shutdown wouldmaterially alter Treasury's forecasts," a Treasury spokespersonsaid.

However, a prolonged shutdown might be able to buy thegovernment some time before its borrowing capacity runs out.

"If the shutdown lasts all month, then it might push back afew days," said Brian Collins, an analyst and budget expert atthe Bipartisan Policy Center, a think tank in Washington.

The Treasury estimated last month it would have about $30billion in cash left to pay the nation's bills when it runs outof borrowing capacity. It would then rely on those funds andincoming revenue to pay the country's obligations.

The Bipartisan Policy Center estimates the nation wouldbegin defaulting on some obligations between Oct. 18 and Nov. 5.

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