Congress has until late February to lift the $16.7T debt ceiling and avert a U.S. default, Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew said yesterday.
During the last brouhaha over the matter in October, the cap was suspended until February 7. From that point, the Treasury will be able to juggle the money about for a bit to stave off a default before running out of cash.
The question is how much the GOP will try to use the debt limit to try to extract concessions from the Democrats, such as with a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline.
"The speaker has said that we should not default on our debt, or even get close to it, but a clean debt-limit increase simply won't pass the House," said Michael Steel, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner.