The Treasury expects to hit the debt limit on October 17, and not be able to borrow more or fund government operations, according to a letter from Treasury Secretary Jack Lew to House Speaker John Boehner.

"Treasury now estimates that extraordinary measures will be exhausted no later than October 17," according to the letter. "We estimate that, at that point, Treasury would have only approximately $30 billion to meet our country's commitments. This amount would be far short of net expenditures on certain days, which can be as high as $60 billion. If we have insufficient cash on hand, it would be impossible for the United States of America to meet all of its obligations for the first time in our history."

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