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Lew warns Congress over debt limit; Boehner says no debt hike without concessions

Sunday - 10/6/2013, 4:20pm  ET

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew says Congress is "playing with fire" as the country moves closer to the possibility of defaulting on the government's debt for the first time.

Lew is calling on lawmakers to quickly pass legislation to reopen the government and increase the nation's $16.7 trillion debt limit.

In a series of Sunday television appearances, Lew warned that threat of default will be imminent on Oct. 17, when he exhausts the bookkeeping maneuvers he has been using to keep borrowing.

But House Speaker John Boehner (BAY'-nur) is ruling out a House vote on a straightforward bill to boost the borrowing authority without concessions from President Barack Obama.

On ABC's "This Week," the Ohio Republican said he won't allow a vote on a bill to reopen the government without serious talks about spending. And he says he won't go forward with a bill increasing the government's borrowing authority without a similar conversation.

%@AP Links

150-w-35-(Ed Donahue, AP correspondent, with House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew)--There are no signs of an end to the government shutdown, which is now in its 6th day. The AP's Ed Donahue reports. (6 Oct 2013)

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129-a-09-(Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, in interview)-"take that chance"-Treasury Secretary Jack Lew says there will be a major impact on the economy if the country goes into default. COURTESY: 'Fox News Sunday' ((mandatory on-air credit)) (6 Oct 2013)

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128-a-11-(Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, in interview)-"needs to act"-Treasury Secretary Jack Lew says there will be serious consequences if Congress fails to raise the debt limit. COURTESY: 'Fox News Sunday' ((mandatory on-air credit)) (6 Oct 2013)

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123-a-09-(House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, in interview)-"the underlying problem"-House Speaker John Boehner says the country cannot afford to raise the debt limit without dealing with spending on such things as entitlement programs. COURTESY: ABC's "This Week" ((mandatory on-air credit)) (6 Oct 2013)

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124-a-11-(House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, in interview)-"do is call"-House Speaker John Boehner says he's waiting to have a 'conversation' with the president about spending and the debt ceiling. COURTESY: ABC's "This Week" ((mandatory on-air credit)) (6 Oct 2013)

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125-a-05-(House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, in interview)-"talk to you"-House Speaker John Boehner says it's the president's unwillingness to negotiate that's preventing an agreement to reopen the government and raise the debt limit. COURTESY: ABC's "This Week" ((mandatory on-air credit)) (6 Oct 2013)

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