The Treasury Department warns that Congress will need to act by Nov. 3, or the government will be dangerously close to not being able to pay all of its bills.
That's a little sooner than Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew said two weeks ago when setting a Nov. 5 deadline. At the time, some GOP lawmakers felt Lew was trying to rush them into approving an increase in the government's $18.1 trillion borrowing limit.
But the Congressional Budget Office brought its predictions in sync with Treasury in a report issued Wednesday.
The letter comes as closely-held talks on the budget are showing little evidence of progress. Some Republicans hope to win concessions in exchange for a debt increase, but that's unlikely.