Time Running Out on Debt Ceiling

Markus Schreiber/AP

In a new letter to House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew says that Congress only has until Feb. 27 to raise the debt-ceiling without risking default. After that point, Lew says, Treasury would be left "with only the cash on hand and any incoming revenue to meet our country's commitments."

The debt limit was previously suspended until Feb. 7, and Treasury is now implementing "extraordinary measures" to ensure that the U.S. is able to pay its bills. Treasury is not confident, says Lew, that those measures would last for more than 20 days.

It's not yet clear what exactly Congress will do on the debt limit, but some conservatives are not itching for another major blow up, and Republican leadership has insisted that they won't let the U.S. default. Democrats are insisting on a clean debt-limit increase, which would mean no extra policy riders could be attached to the raise.

Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., has announced a floor action schedule that includes the possibility of a vote on the debt ceiling by Wednesday.

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