Treasury Secretary Jack Lew wrote a letter to House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) on Friday informing him that the debt limit will be reached May 18 and that Congress must raise it.
Lew said the U.S. will be able to use extraordinary measures to meet its obligations until at least Labor Day (Sept. 2). He noted that President Obama will not accept the GOP's measure to prioritize debt payments to foreign creditors and Social Security recipients, nor will he offer any policy concessions in exchange for lifting the ceiling.
"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.
"I want to reemphasize what the President has said repeatedly regarding any threats to cause default in order to extract policy concessions from the Administration: We will not negotiate over the debt limit. The creditworthiness of the United States is non-negotiable. The question of whether the country must pay obligations it has already incurred is not open to debate. Congress has no choice but to protect our creditworthiness and our economy."
Read Lew's letter to Boehner here.