Tags: jack lew | debt ceiling

Lew Urges Congress to Raise Debt Ceiling by Late February

Wednesday, 22 Jan 2014 04:48 PM

Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew urged Congress to raise the debt ceiling by Feb. 7 and “certainly” before late next month to ensure the stability of the U.S. economy and financial system.

The Congress last year suspended the limit until Feb. 7. If lawmakers don’t increase the ceiling or suspend it again by that date, the Treasury will have to use special steps to continue selling debt. Lew reiterated in a letter to Congress today that the department will most likely exhaust those extraordinary measures in late February.

He said the length of time that the extraordinary measures will be able to extend the nation’s borrowing authority is “significantly shorter” than it was in 2011 and 2013. He also said the amount of borrowing capacity under the measures is “significantly more limited.”

“I respectfully urge Congress to provide certainty and stability to the economy and financial markets by acting to raise the debt limit before February 7, 2014, and certainly before late February,” Lew said in the letter to congressional leaders.

House Republicans, who have demanded concessions to raise the debt limit in the past, are expected to decide on their negotiation strategy at a party conference next week. President Barack Obama and Senate Democrats have said they won’t negotiate on the issue.

House Speaker John Boehner, a Republican from Ohio, told reporters Jan. 16 that he didn’t have an estimate of when the U.S. would reach its debt limit.

“All I know is that we should not default on our debt,” Boehner said. “We shouldn’t even get close to it. And I would hope that the House and the Senate would act quickly on a bill to increase the debt limit. What that vehicle is and how it’s going to be unveiled, well, we’ll find out soon enough.”


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Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew urged Congress to raise the debt ceiling by Feb. 7 and "certainly" before late next month to ensure the stability of the U.S. economy and financial system.
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2014-48-22
Wednesday, 22 Jan 2014 04:48 PM
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