The Treasury Department has been using accounting maneuvers known as extraordinary measures to keep paying the country’s bills without breaching that $31.4 trillion debt ceiling, which was officially reached on Jan. 19.
Ms. Yellen did not lay out any additional measures that she is planning to take to conserve cash. Budget experts have projected that if the government can find sufficient resources to pay its bills through mid-June, then an influx of quarterly tax receipts could provide additional breathing room until later in the summer.
Ms. Yellen’s letter is the latest warning about the government’s precarious financial state. On Friday, the Congressional Budget Office said that there was a “significant risk” that the federal government could run out of cash sometime in the first two weeks of June, at which point the United States would be unable to pay all of its bills on time within a matter of weeks.
The nonpartisan budget office predicted that a default would lead to “distress in credit markets, disruptions in economic activity and rapid increases in borrowing rates for the Treasury.”
Whether the two sides can reach an agreement in time to prevent a default remains an open question. Mr. Biden expressed optimism on Sunday that a deal could be reached, but on Monday, Mr. McCarthy said the two sides were still far apart.