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Treasury Says U.S. Won't be Able to Pay Bills by Oct. 18 if Congress Fails to Act

Movement is needed to increase the debt ceiling

The Treasury Department estimates it would exhaust the measures allowing the U.S. government to pay its bills on Oct. 18. if Congress does not act to raise or suspend the debt limit. If that happens, the country could go into default for the first time in U.S. history.

Senate Republicans blocked a short-term spending bill Monday night that would have also suspended the debt limit through December 2022. They argued Democrats can raise the debt ceiling on their own, but Democrats had been calling for a bipartisan approach as was done during the Trump administration.

In a letter to congressional leaders Tuesday, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said once its so-called extraordinary measures being used to pay the bills are exhausted, they expect the Treasury to be left with very limited resources that would become depleted quickly. She also noted that the government's cash flows vary, so this was just their best estimate.

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