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Lew’s Vow Not to Shift on Debt Limit Frustrates Republicans

When Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew told the Senate Finance Committee last week that the Obama administration would never bargain over raising the nation’s debt limit, it was a declaration the lawmakers had heard before.

Lew, the administration’s point man for pressing Congress to increase the $16.7 trillion debt ceiling, has been making the same case privately on Capitol Hill for months, lawmakers say, as he has publicly in speeches and on Sunday talk shows. His determination to stay on message has frustrated Republicans hungry for a deal.