Treasury moves up debt limit deadline to Nov. 3

The Treasury Department has moved its deadline for Congress to raise the nation’s borrowing limit to Nov. 3, giving lawmakers even less time to prevent a possible default on the nation’s debt.

In a letter to lawmakers, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said he expects Treasury will have exhausted its “extraordinary measures” to operate under the borrowing cap two days earlier than he previously forecast. The previous deadline for raising the $18.1 trillion borrowing cap was Nov. 5.

Congress must deal with the conroversial issue amid a serious leadership crisis for Republicans in the House. Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) announced his resignation last month, and the GOP is struggling to find a successor.

Lew’s new deadline ups pressure on Boehner to act to bring up a debt limit bill before he leaves office, which would anger conservatives that want to use the borrowing cap as leverage to extract concessions from the White House.

Many have suspected Boehner could move on the debt ceiling before his planned exit at the end of the month. Boehner himself has said he would like to deal with some lingering issues before he resigns, to help clear the deck for whoever his successor might be.

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