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Debt ceiling debate looms after shutdown fight

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In a letter to congressional leaders, Lew said that, while the current government shutdown has created "additional uncertainty" regarding the government's cash flows, he did not anticipate it would alter the current debt limit deadline of Oct. 17 unless it dragged on for some time.

Lew sent the letter to Congress to inform lawmakers that the Treasury had begun using its final "extraordinary measures," which allow the government to free up cash to remain under its borrowing cap and to continue paying bills. Lew previously warned Congress that those measures would be exhausted by Oct. 17, leaving the government with just $30 billion in cash to keep paying all its bills. 

He has noted previously, and emphasized in his latest letter, that government bills can total as much as $60 billion on any given day, meaning that by that date the government may no longer pay all its bills.

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