(CBS News) As the government shutdown heads into its fourth day, the Obama administration is warning about. Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew warned the government will run out of money in two weeks if Congress doesn't raise the borrowing limit.
Lew wrote in USA Today "we will not negotiate over whether the United States pays its bills for past commitments."
Lew said his department has run out of options and Congress has to act. In 2011, even the threat of a possible default wreaked havoc on the markets and led to Standard and Poors downgrading the country's credit rating.
"I don't think that we want to open the door to find out what happens if the United States actually fails to pay its bills on time," said Lew.
President Obama, speaking Thursday, said that "as reckless as a government shutdown is ... an economic shutdown that results from default would be dramatically worse."
CBS News business analyst Jill Schlesinger explained on "CBS This Morning" Friday that the country would probably get through the rest of October, even after hitting the debt ceiling, but it is really what could occur on Nov. 1 that would cause major problems. (Watch at left.)
"They're supposed to write a check to Social Security for $25 billion. [On] November 15, we're supposed to make an interest payment on our bonds of $30 billion. Without an increase to the debt ceiling, we cannot make those payments."
Schlesinger said that she thinks the government would attempt to make the bond interest payments, but that there is still a "destabilizing effect," and that while the fallout might not be "catastrophic, the emotional and psychological damage could be lasting."
On Capitol Hill, the House continued its piecemeal approach of trying to restore funding to small parts of the government. Members passed a bill to fund the National Guard and the Department of Veterans Affairs. While Democrats oppose the bit-by-bit funding, Republicans lay the blame on Mr. Obama.
"The president's refusal to work in a bipartisan way has led us to this showdown," House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., said.
Senate Democrats said House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, holds the key to a solution. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., urged Boehner to stand up to tea party members in his caucus who,"
"I feel positive that John Boehner, who is basically a nice guy, cannot let this go on. He can't let this go on, he can't have his speakership more important than the country," Reid said.
The question now is whether he would act without the majority of his own party and put his speakership at risk.