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Jack Lew: President Has 'No Option' To Pay Bills If Debt Ceiling Breached

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U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew speaks to reporters in Athens, Sunday, July 21. Lew told CNN's 'State of the Union' that the president has 'no good choices' if the government breaches the debt ceiling. (AP Photo/Kostas Tsironis, Pool)
U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew speaks to reporters in Athens, Sunday, July 21. Lew told CNN's 'State of the Union' that the president has 'no good choices' if the government breaches the debt ceiling. (AP Photo/Kostas Tsironis, Pool)

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said Republicans in Congress are "playing with fire" and that there is "no option" available for the president if they refuse to raise the debt ceiling.

Some Republicans have suggested that once the debt ceiling is breached, President Barack Obama could take action on his own to prevent the country from entering into default, triggering cascading world financial problems.

But with the debt ceiling deadline set for later this month, Lew said Sunday morning on CNN's "State of the Union" that "there is no option preventing us from being in default if we don't have the cash to pay our bills."

Republicans' approach to the debt ceiling, he said, is "reckless, because the reality is there are no good choices if we run out of borrowing capacity."

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