Return of the Debt Ceiling: U.S. Will Hit Borrowing Limit Again in October

USA - 2012:  Hector Casanova illustration of the Democrat donkey fighting it out with the Republican elephant on top of the so called 'fiscal cliff.' (The Kansas City Star/MCT via Getty Images via Getty Images)
Hector Casanova, The Kansas City Star, via Getty Images

By Brett LoGiurato

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said in a letter to Congressional leaders on Monday that the nation will hit its borrowing limit in mid-October, giving Congress a clear deadline for raising the debt ceiling.

The new timeline will ramp up pressure on Congress to raise the debt ceiling, as it comes somewhat sooner than most analysts had anticipated. The new deadline will come just a handful of weeks after lawmakers have to pass a continuing-resolution bill that will keep the government funded past Sept. 30.

Lew sent the letter to House Speaker John Boehner, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. In it, Lew warned of "irreparable harm to the American economy if Congress does not act."

Meanwhile, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney repeated a familiar line on Monday -- that President Barack Obama won't negotiate over raising the debt ceiling.

In exchange for a hike in the debt ceiling, some Republicans are demanding new, significant spending cuts -- and some want to delay or defund parts of the Affordable Care Act.

"We will not negotiate with Republicans in Congress over Congress' responsibility to pay the bills Congress has racked up," Carney said on Monday.

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