A former Obama administration official now with Citigroup said Monday that he doubted the federal budget impasse would be settled by the Oct. 17 "deadline" but that an agreement was likely by Nov. 1, when the government would be unable to pay many important bills.
Peter Orszag, Citigroup's vice chairman of corporate and investment banking, said after a speech at Adelphi University that, while Oct. 17 is a "critical date" because the U.S. Treasury will have less money on hand than it deems prudent, Nov. 1 is a the serious deadline.
"What everybody agrees on is you can't go past Nov. 1," he said. "On Nov. 1 there are about $60 billion in Social Security and Medicare payments that have to go out the door and you're obviously not going to have the cash to pay for them.
Oct. 17, he said is a "mark" that the nation is approaching the danger zone.
"I think the chances are very high," he said, "not 100 percent but very high that we'll have a deal by the end of the month."
Orszag is a former director of the White House Office of Management and Budget.