US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has set an estimated deadline of June 5 for raising the country's debt limit to avoid default. Her previous estimate was as early as June 1.
Yellen urged quick action in a letter on Friday to House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and other Congressional leaders.
She wrote that the Treasury Department will make more than 130 billion dollars' worth of scheduled payments in the first two days of June, including those to veterans as well as Social Security and Medicare recipients.
She added that these payments will leave Treasury with an extremely low level of resources.
She warned the Congressional leaders that past debt impasses show that waiting until the last minute can cause serious harm, including a negative impact on US credit ratings.
She wrote, "If Congress fails to increase the debt limit, it would cause severe hardship to American families, harm our global leadership position, and raise questions about our ability to defend our national security interests."