The Debit Limit BattleAs most investors know, the big battle in Washington between the Republican-controlled House of Representatives and the Democrat-controlled Senate is not limited to an agreement for a fiscal 2014 budget. The government can certainly be run without a budget, if the two houses agree to pass the necessary spending bills. Even more importantly, the government is fast approaching its $16.7 trillion debt limit. U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew in a letter to House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) on Sept. 28 said the "extraordinary measures" the Treasury was taking to maintain its borrowing power will "be exhausted no later than Oct. 17," unless the $16.7 trillion federal debt limit is raised. The House Republicans have passed four spending bills over the last week to keep parts of the government open, but these bills have been rejected by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) because the Republicans continue to insist on tying an eventual full budget agreement to a one-year delay in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, which is President Obama's signature legislative accomplishment.
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