Lew: U.S. will default if debt ceiling not raised

Lew: U.S. will default if debt ceiling not raised

Congress needs to pass a debt ceiling increase by Oct. 17 or the U.S. will default, said Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew.

“Congress is playing with fire,” Lew said on CNN’s “State of the Union” today. “If the United States government, for the first time in its history, chooses not to pay its bills on time, we will be in default, there is no option that prevents us from being in default if we don’t have enough cash to pay our bills.”

In response to Obama administration calls for a limit increase without policy conditions, House Speaker John Boehner said today he doesn’t have votes to pass a debt-ceiling increase without packaging it with other provisions.

Republicans have sought to end the shutdown by passing legislation that would also delay for one year the mandate for individuals to purchase health insurance, a part of President Barack Obama’s 2010 Affordable Care Act.

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