Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner continue to lobby Congress to find a quick solution to the debt ceiling problem. A new letter sent from him to Speaker of the House John Boehner reads:
Treasury currently expects to exhaust these extraordinary measures between mid-February and early March of this year. We will provide a more narrow range with a more targeted estimate at a later date. Any estimate, however, will be subject to a significant amount of uncertainty because we are entering the tax filing season, when the amounts and timing of tax payments and refunds are unpredictable. For this reason, Congress should act as early as possible to extend normal borrowing authority in order to avoid the risk of default and any interruption in payments.
If no decision is made, Treasury would need to operate with its cash balances, which would in turn mean that a number of federal bills would not be paid, or the U.S. would default on some portion of its debt.
The game of chicken between the White House and some members of Congress is already too dangerous for comfort.