WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. government will hit a legal debt limit and be unable to borrow more money no later than Nov. 3, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said on Thursday.
In a letter to congressional leaders, Lew added that a remaining cash balance of less than $30 billion would swiftly deplete.
“In fact, we do not foresee any reasonable scenario in which it would last for an extended period of time,” Lew said, as he urged Congress to raise the debt cap.
The federal government is currently scraping just under its $18 trillion legal debt limit. Lew previously had said two weeks ago that the United States would exhaust its ability to borrow more money around Nov. 5.
Disarray among Republicans over who will replace U.S. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner, who is retiring from Congress on Oct. 30, is complicating efforts to negotiate on the debt ceiling.
Boehner may try to pass a debt limit increase before he retires, one of his aides said on Wednesday.
Analysts and officials have warned that missing payments could lead to economic calamity. The Treasury already came close to missing payments in 2011 and 2013 when Congress delayed increasing the borrowing limit.
Reporting by Lindsay Dunsmuir and Timothy Ahmann; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Paul Simao