Budget Battle Heats Up in Washington

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

WASHINGTON (AP) - Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew says Congress is "playing with fire" as the country moves closer to the possibility of defaulting on the government's debt for the first time.

Lew is calling on lawmakers to quickly pass legislation to reopen the government and increase the nation's $16.7 trillion debt limit.

In a series of Sunday television appearances, Lew warned that threat of default will be imminent on Oct. 17, when he exhausts the bookkeeping maneuvers he has been using to keep borrowing.

But House Speaker John Boehner is ruling out a House vote on a straightforward bill to boost the borrowing authority without concessions from President Barack Obama.

On ABC's "This Week," the Ohio Republican said he won't allow a vote on a bill to reopen the government without serious talks about spending. And he says he won't go forward with a bill increasing the government's borrowing authority without a similar conversation.

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