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What Happens When the Money Runs Out?

Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew has said the U.S. government will exhaust its ability to borrow more on Oct. 17, triggering a possible default on federal obligations. Though no precedent exists, a study by the Washington-based Bipartisan Policy Center suggests that the government may attempt to pay some or all of its bills under one of two scenarios.

Published Oct. 15, 2013

1 – Payments to providers 2 – Active military and veterans benefits

3 – Unemployment/Housing and Urban Development (HUD)/Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

Source: Bipartisan Policy Center

GRAPHIC: DAVE MERRILL / BLOOMBERG VISUAL DATA