The U.S. will exhaust all extraordinary measures to borrow in order to pay its bills by Feb. 27, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said Friday in a letter to House Speaker John Boehner.
“Based on our best and most recent information, however, we are not confident that the extraordinary measures will last beyond Thursday, February 27,” Lew wrote. “At that point, Treasury would be left with only the cash on hand and any incoming revenue to meet our country’s commitments.”
Lew hadn’t previously provided a specific date for Congress to raise the debt limit or risk default, although he had said “late February.” The U.S. hit the statutory debt limit deadline on Friday, Feb. 7, before extraordinary measures.
“I respectfully urge Congress to move as quickly as possible, raise the debt limit, and provide certainty to the economy and to the financial markets,” Lew wrote.
Boehner said Republicans want fiscal concessions in order to raise the debt ceiling, but he doesn’t know what to demand. He has repeatedly said default isn’t an option. The White House and Democratic leaders say lifting the federal borrowing limit “cleanly” is non-negotiable.