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BPC Debt Limit Projection: Treasury Could Run Out of Cash Mid- To Late-November

Friday, October 2, 2015

Washington, D.C. – Steve Bell, senior director of economic policy at the Bipartisan Policy Center, issued the following statement on Friday following Treasury Secretary Jack Lew’s letter to lawmakers on the debt limit.

“The Bipartisan Policy Center’s Economic Policy Project estimates that the Department of Treasury will likely exhaust borrowing authority and cash on hand in mid- to late-November,” Bell said.

“While Treasury Secretary Lew used the date of November 5 as the date of exhaustion of extraordinary measures, we would emphasize that the letter pointed out the uncertainties of the department’s estimates. We would recommend paying special attention to that portion of the secretary’s letter and keeping in mind that the November 5 date may well change as more October data accumulates,” Bell said.

“We cannot give the precise date on which Treasury will run out of cash on hand in order to pay the nation’s bills on time, and in full (what we have called the “X-date” in our past annual analyses). This is because of changing estimates of Treasury daily revenues and outlays, as well as uncertainty of other impacts on estimates. But we will be able to narrow the projected window of time as more information comes in over the next few weeks,” Bell said.

Steve Bell is available for comment.