treasury

The government is closer to running out of money to pay its bills than previously thought — about $20 billion short of previous estimates, the Treasury Department warned Wednesday.

Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew said the government would be left with just $30 billion in cash available “no later” than Oct. 17; he said officials had predicted in late August there would be $50 billion to fund the government on Oct. 15.

The Congressional Budget Office predicted the $30 billion would dry up sometime between Oct. 22 and Oct. 31 if legislation isn’t enacted to raise the $16.7 trillion debt limit, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Lew’s letter marks the first time he has given a date certain for when the government would hit the debt ceiling and comes as Congress is at another impasse on how to keep the government running and pay its past bills