Lew/Obama: Debt Increase "Not Open t...

Lew/Obama: Debt Increase "Not Open to Debate"

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#1 May 18, 2013
http://preview.tinyurl.com/akjwy76

Lew Asks Congress for Debt Increase, Says Itís 'not open to debate'

by Peter Schroeder

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew on Friday urged congressional leaders to raise the debt limit and insisted that the White House is not going to negotiate over the increase because lawmakers have "no choice."

"We will not negotiate over the debt limit," Lew wrote. "The creditworthiness of the United States is non-negotiable. The question of whether the country must pay obligations it has already incurred is not open to debate."

Lew said that while President Obama is willing to discuss plans to reduce the nation's deficit with Congress, those talks must be kept separate from any effort to raise the nation's debt cap.

The letter comes as the debt limit is set to take effect on Sunday, after being suspended for three months by Congress. The last time the nation approached its $16.4 trillion borrowing limit, lawmakers agreed to suspend the borrowing cap, and then to automatically raise it to cover borrowing subject to the limit that occurred during that three-month stretch.

The end result is that come Sunday, the Treasury will find itself immediately up against its expanded cap, and will need to begin employing "extraordinary measures" to free up space beneath the limit to stay current on its obligations.

Lew told lawmakers he was unsure exactly how long those measures would avoid a default, but said he was confident the government funding could last until after Labor Day.

"Nevertheless, Congress should act sooner rather than later to protect America's good credit and avoid the potentially catastrophic consequences of failing to act until it is too late," he wrote....

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