Congress is already pushing the boundaries of how long it can go without raising the debt ceiling.

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has told Congress that lawmakers have only until Nov. 3, less than two weeks, to raise the federal debt ceiling before he runs out of options for managing the debt.

Outside analysis suggests that if the limit isn't raised by then, the government risks missing a payment on the debt or another of its obligations by mid-November.

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More immediately, the Treasury likely will face increasing borrowing costs over the next few days as concerns about the possibility of a default creep into markets for Treasury bonds.

Here is a timeline of the relevant events:

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