“Congress has the ability to do that, and the president is calling on them to act on that as quickly as possible,” Wally Adeyemo, the deputy Treasury secretary, told CNN on Friday.
In her letter, Ms. Yellen also laid out the additional accounting maneuvers known as “extraordinary measures” that she was taking to delay a potential default until June 5. The actions involved moving $2 billion of Treasury securities between the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund and the Federal Financing Bank.
“The extremely low level of remaining resources demands that I exhaust all available extraordinary measures to avoid being unable to meet all of the government’s commitments,” Ms. Yellen wrote.
Financial markets have become more jittery as the United States moves closer to the deadline for avoiding a potential default. This week, Fitch Ratings said it was placing the nation’s top AAA credit rating on review for a possible downgrade. DBRS Morningstar, another rating firm, did the same on Thursday.
Ms. Yellen pointed out in her letter that the standoff is already straining financial markets.
“We have learned from past debt limit impasses that waiting until the last minute to suspend or increase the debt limit can cause serious harm to business and consumer confidence, raise short-term borrowing costs for taxpayers, and negatively impact the credit rating of the United States,” she wrote.
Luke Broadwater contributed reporting.