Obama administration says time running out for Congress to raise debt limit

Posted by Sean Cockerham on January 22, 2014 

Taxes-Gay Marriage

Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew, Jan. 16, 2014.

MANUEL BALCE CENETA — AP

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew is telling Congress to raise the debt limit before Feb. 7 in order to “ensure orderly financing of the government.”

Lew sent a letter to House Speaker John Boehner on Wednesday saying action is urgent.

He said if Congress doesn’t act by Feb. 7, the Treasury Department will have to use extraordinary measures to pay the bills.

Such measures would only work until the end of February, Lew wrote, so Congress must act by then at the latest.

“Protecting the full faith and credit of the United States is the responsibility of Congress, because only Congress can extend the nation's borrowing authority. No Congress in our history has failed to meet that responsibility,” Lew wrote the House speaker.

Congress is on recess this week and there was no immediate response from Boehner. But Boehner said at a news conference last week that the U.S. should not even get close to defaulting on its debt

He didn’t address whether Republicans would demand concessions from Democrats in return for agreeing to raise the debt limit.

McClatchy Washington Bureau is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service