Treasury Head Says Congress ‘Playing with Fire’ on Debt Ceiling

Country reaches borrowing limit on Oct. 17

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J. Scott Applewhite / AP

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said Sunday that Republicans are “playing with fire” by threatening not to raise the debt ceiling this month.

“I’m telling you that on [Oct. 17], we run out of our ability to borrow, and Congress is playing with fire,” Lew said on CNN’s State of the Union.

Republicans in Congress don’t want to raise the statutory borrowing limit without accompanying cuts in spending, but President Barack Obama and Democrats have said they won’t negotiate over borrowing money to pay for spending that Congress has already authorized. Economists are warning of cataclysmic and global economic consequences if the country defaults on debt payments.

“If they don’t extend the debt limit, we have a very, very short window of time before those scenarios start to be played out,” Lew said.



@j45ashton. Boehner is lying. That's why he won't allow a vote on a clean CR. I know you've argued that. Just scrap the word 'implies.'

Think about this shutdown. To keep his job as Speaker, Boehner threw 800,000 people out of their jobs. Who do you know who's done something like that before? 800,000 people?

Worse yet, Boehner did it to support a radical minority called the Tea Party. They have from 40 to 80 Representatives. The other 355 Representatives were elected by people who rejected the Tea Party.  

Boehner won't allow the 355 Representatives to represent their constituents.  They represent the majority of Americans.

We need Speaker Pelosi back.  Boehner is too weak for the job.


 According to the Huffington Post the following GOP congressmen have indicated that they would vote for a clean CR.  More than enough to carry.  This implies John Boehner is lying.  Just to prove his integrity & that he can be trusted, why doesn't he take a vote on a clean CR:

Rep. Pat Meehan (R-Pa)

Rep. Scott Rigell (R-Va.)

Rep. Jon Runyan (R-N.J)

Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.)

Rep. Lou Barletta (R-Pa)

Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y)

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif

Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pa)

Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.)  

Rep. Scott Rigell (R)  

Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y)

Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-Minn

Rep. Rob Wittman (R-Va

Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-N.J.):  

Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va

Rep. Jim Gerlach (R-Pa.):  

Rep. Leonard Lance (R-N.J

Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho

Rep. Bill Young (R-Fla

Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.):  

Rep. Richard Hanna (R-N.Y

Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill

Rep. Tim Griffin (R-Ark 


Why shouldn't Republicans refuse to raise the debt  ceiling?   The last time they did it we lost our credit rating.  Were they blamed?  No.

Why shouldn't they do it again?   They're counting on the press playing the 'fair and balanced' game. 

Can I burn down your house?


Just the 2nd floor?




Let's talk about what I can burn down.




I don't understand the "Hastert" (sp?) Rule.  Aren't all bills that make it through committee supposed to be voted upon?


@jmac How about if I agree not to burn down your house...but only if you in turn agree to renounce something you have an unmitigated right to maybe...wash your car in the driveway. Yeah, that's agree to stop washing your car in your driveway, and I'll guarantee that for at least the time being, I won't burn down your house.  What?  No?   How're just being the most divisive commenter ever.  


@tsvskibum The speaker decides what will be voted on by the House.  During the Geo W Bush era, Hastert decided generally never to bring a bill to the floor that a majority of Republicans didn't support it.  The net result was to not look for bipartisan support but rather only vote on a strongly Republican agenda.  Sound familiar?


@barneydidit @jmac if you live in the desert you don't have the unmitigated right to wash your car in the driveway


@tsvskibum @j45ashton Sorry.  Misunderstood.  During the G W Bush years, the Republicans controlled the Senate & House & Presidency until the election of 2006.  I can only think that Hastert wanted to squelch any bipartisan tendencies in the House.  Nobody straying off the reservation.  Net result: emergence of tea party.  The logical extension of the Hastert rule.  Recall that my way or the highway was used to describe W.  Comes down to this.  For 6 years Republicans had full control of the gov't and we've all seen the net result.  One stupid war we should have need started.  A financial meltdown we haven't seen since Calvin Coolidge & Herbert Hoover,  no income increases for the middle class & a radical division of wealth like we've never seen before.  Proving that Republicans have nothing to offer.  Except negativity.