The partial shutdown of the U.S. federal government will not create more time to raise the government’s debt limit in order to avert a default on the country’s obligations, the Treasury Department said Tuesday.
The Treasury expects the government will no longer be able to add to the debt legally by October 17 unless Congress authorizes more borrowing to pay the country’s obligations.
“It is unlikely that a brief government shutdown would materially alter Treasury’s forecasts,” a department spokesman said.
However, a prolonged shutdown might increase the time before the government’s borrowing capacity runs out. “If the shutdown lasts all month, then it might push back a few days,” Brian Collins, a budget expert at the Bipartisan Policy Center think tank in Washington, was quoted as saying by Reuters.
The Treasury estimated last month it would have only $30 billion in cash left to pay the country’s obligations when it runs out of borrowing capacity.