President Barack Obama walks with Treasury Secretary Jack Lew
(USA TODAY) -- Treasury Secretary Jack Lew will testify in Congress Thursday on raising the debt limit.
will speak before the Senate Finance Committee, headed by Max Baucus, a
Montana Democrat, according to the committee's website. The hearing
starts at 8:30 a.m. ET.
Lew's view on the possibility of default
aren't exactly secret. Lew wrote to Congress on Oct. 1, urging a swift
raising of the debt limit. "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," he wrote.
similar letter to Congress on Sept. 25, Lew warned about the dangers of a
default, as well as the consequences of trying to prioritize which
debts to pay and which to default on:
"The debt limit impasse that
took place in 2011 caused significant harm to the economy and a
downgrade to the credit rating of the United States. The drawn-out
dispute caused business uncertainty to increase, consumer confidence to
drop, and financial markets to fall. If Congress were to repeat that
brinksmanship in 2013, it could inflict even greater harm on the
economy. And if the government should ultimately become unable to pay
all of its bills, the results could be catastrophic."