The US government could run out of money in early September unless Congress allows the administration to borrow more, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin warned Friday.
The Treasury has been taking extraordinary steps since March to shuffle its cash around to continue paying its bills after hitting the $22 trillion debt limit set by Congress.
Officials have issued dire warnings that without an increase in the borrowing limit, the US could default on its debt for the first time and they have been urging the legislature to act before the summer break later this month.
“Based on updated projections, there is a scenario in which we run out of cash in early September, before Congress reconvenes,” Mnuchin warned in a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Pelosi late Thursday said she is working to finalize a deal that would temporarily raise the debt ceiling before the House of Representatives shuts down July 26, according to news reports.
The House is not scheduled to reopen until September 9.
The United States lost its coveted AAA debt rating in 2011, following battles among lawmakers in Washington over whether to lift caps on US sovereign borrowing, raising the likelihood of a US default.
Because the federal government traditionally runs a budget deficit, it has no choice but to borrow to finance government operations, including salaries, retirement benefits, social spending and other expenses already approved by Congress.
The Treasury previously said it could hold out until late summer, but the latest letter adds more urgency to the debate. It has suspended issuing new debt, and halted investments by government pension funds.
Johnny Depp libel trial set to start in London
A libel trial was due to begin on Tuesday between Hollywood actor Johnny Depp and a British tabloid newspaper over claims that he was violent to his former wife, Amber Heard.
Depp, 57, is suing News Group Newspapers (NGN), publisher of The Sun, and its executive editor Dan Wootton for an April 2018 article which referred to him as a "wife beater".
The "Pirates of the Caribbean" star strenuously denies the accusation.
The case, which was delayed because of the coronavirus outbreak, will be heard over 15 days at the High Court in London.
The couple settled a divorce out of court in 2017. She donated a settlement of $7 million (£5.6 million, 6.2 million euros) to charity.
Trump is betting on reckless approach to win in November
On the Fourth of July, a day meant to celebrate American independence, Donald Trump once again focused on creating a racist spectacle. Despite concerns about spreading the coronavirus and starting wildfires, Trump insisted on having a fireworks-heavy celebration at Mount Rushmore in South Dakota, which was clearly a campaign rally no matter how much the taxpayers were bilked for it. Of course, the president's speech was pure culture-war vitriol, complete with classic Trumpian projection, this time when he called anti-racist activists "fascists," an extraordinary word choice that obviously better suits him.
Dr. Fauci warns US is ‘knee-deep’ in first wave of coronavirus
The United States is still "knee-deep" in its first wave of coronavirus infections and must act immediately to tackle the recent surge, the country's top infectious diseases expert said Monday.
Anthony Fauci said the number of cases had never reached a satisfactory baseline before the current resurgence, which officials have warned risks overwhelming hospitals in the country's south and west.
"It's a serious situation that we have to address immediately," Fauci said in a web interview with National Institutes of Health director Francis Collins.
But Fauci added he did not strictly consider the ongoing rise in cases a "wave."