The Treasury Department is swatting down reports that the deadline to raise the debt ceiling could be shifted from early August to the end of that month, saying that at most the drop-dead date to hike the limit might be only a few days later than initially expected.
“It is unlikely that the date will move by more than a day or two – if at all,” Treasury spokeswoman Colleen Murray said in a statement late Tuesday, tamping down a rumor that emerged earlier in the day that it could be pushed back weeks.
Treasury will, though, “provide an update on the debt ceiling outlook at the beginning of July, as we have done at the beginning of each month this year,” Murray said. That estimate is expected on Friday.
Early Tuesday afternoon, a Reuters columnist wrote on Twitter that the Treasury might shift its deadline to raise the debt ceiling to Aug. 22, potentially giving Democratic and Republican negotiators another 20 days from the current deadline of Aug. 2 to work out a deal. That news quickly had people on Wall Street and in Washington talking, the Wall Street Journal suggested.
Within hours, Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), who’s been a chief negotiator, had picked up on the notion, saying he’d “heard” the deadline might be pushed back to later in August. He didn’t say where he’d gotten the information.
“We know for sure they are going to update the deadline” on Friday, a House Republican leadership aide told Fox News. “We have heard from those who watch this type of thing that it’s likely they will move it back, but we have not heard from Treasury that it is definitely going back. So I guess we’ve heard that, but not from Treasury, which is the only group that actually knows when we’ll run out of cash.”
But a congressional source told NBC News on Tuesday night that there’s a chance the deadline could be moved even further back, perhaps even to October.
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