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Lew Sets Debt Limit Deadline

Peter Schroeder | The Hill

The Treasury Department will all but completely exhaust its abilities to pay the nation's bills by Feb. 27 unless Congress raises the debt ceiling, according to a new letter sent to lawmakers by Secretary Jack Lew.

Lew's warning moves up the deadline for action by Congress, since the Treasury secretary had previously only offered "late February" as a deadline.

“Based on our best and most recent information…we are not confident that the extraordinary measures will last beyond Thursday, February 27,” he 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 warned that it will be incredibly difficult to predict exactly how long Treasury's cash would last before the government would miss a payment.

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