U.S. has less than three weeks to increase debt cap

|By:, SA News Editor

The U.S. may have only until February 27 to raise the debt ceiling before the government risks running out of cash and defaulting, Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew has told House Speaker John Boehner.

Lew's comments came as the debt-cap suspension expired on Friday. The Treasury has started to take extraordinary measures to extend its runway for as long as possible.

Lew estimated that the U.S. would have $50B cash on hand on February 27, an amount that "would be exhausted quickly."

As of Wednesday, U.S. debt subject to the limit was $17.23T, an increase of $535B in the 3½ months since the the cap was suspended.

House Republicans have said they want concessions from the Democrats to increase the ceiling, although the GOP hasn't been able to agree on what exactly it wants.