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Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew takes final measures to avoid debt limit breech

7:05 PM, Oct 1, 2013   |    comments
(FILES)US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew speaks on the state of the US economy, effects of sequestration and the debt ceiling limit during a discussion at the Economic Club in Washington, DC,in this September 17, 2013 file photo. Treasury Secretary Lew warned September 25, 2013 that the government will have no more flexibility after October 17 to operate under the US debt cap. Lew told Congress that after months of juggling spending to meet government commitments without added borrowing, those "ex
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WASHINGTON (USA Today) -- Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew sent Congress another warning on the nation's debt limit Tuesday, saying he's now done everything he can do to avoid borrowing money to keep under the $16,7 trillion ceiling.

The deadline when the Treasury says it will run out of borrowed money remains Oct. 17, Lew said -- although that could change if there's an extended government shutdown.

Since May, Lew has undertaken a number of actions, known as "extraordinary measures," to keep under the debt limit set by law. They include delayed pension fund payments. Tuesday's announcement said Treasury has taken the final measures at its disposal, including drawing down a $23 billion emergency fund meant to stabilize U.S. currency, and making a $9 billion debt swap.

Neither action will extend the Oct. 17 date, when the Treasury's daily balance is projected to be $30 billion. At that point, the government would only be able to pay as many bills as it has daily tax receipts.

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