Congress 'playing with fire' on debt ceiling: Lew
WASHINGTON (AFP) - US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew warned on Sunday that Congress was "playing with fire" as Republicans raised the threat of a US default if President Barack Obama refuses to negotiate on spending.
Speaker John Boehner said the Republican-controlled House would not raise the US debt ceiling without concessions from the White House, staking his position as the government shutdown dragged into day six.
"We're not going to pass a clean debt limit increase," Mr Boehner said in an interview on ABC's This Week. "I told the president, there's no way we're going to pass one. The votes are not in the House to pass a clean debt limit. And the president is risking default by not having a conversation with us," he said.
Mr Lew said the United States will run out of its ability to borrow money on Oct 17, and with only US$30 billion (S$37.4 billion) cash in hand to meet obligations that can run to US$60 billion a day, it will quickly face default.