Treasury sticks to Aug. 2 debt limit deadline

As the two parties haggle over a deal to raise the $14.3 trillion debt limit, some Republicans have suggested that the Treasury can delay a default for a longer period of time than Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has said.

For example, Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) is pushing legislation he says would prevent a default by prioritizing payments on debt service above other government spending. However, Geithner has consistently maintained that the only way to prevent a default is to raise the debt limit.

Although the government bumped up against the debt limit on May 16, the Treasury has "extraordinary measures" it has employed, buying Congress several more weeks to reach an agreement.