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Lew: Congress facing deadline to raise debt limit

Thursday - 12/19/2013, 9:28pm  ET

MARTIN CRUTSINGER
AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew is telling Congress that he will have only a few weeks after Feb. 7 to avoid an unprecedented default on the nation's debt. He says Congress should act quickly next year to raise the borrowing limit.

As part of the agreement that ended the 16-day partial government shutdown in October, Congress suspended the debt limit until Feb. 7.

Some Republicans have said they want to use the approaching deadline to force the administration to make new budget concessions. Lew said the president will not negotiate over raising the debt limit.

Lew says the bookkeeping maneuvers he can use to keep under the debt ceiling will last only until late February or early March because of the government's need to issue tax refunds.


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