(Bloomberg) -- President Joe Biden could sign a bill suspending the debt ceiling as soon as Saturday, his press secretary said, with the Treasury Department signaling that’s enough time to avoid running out of cash.
The bill is in the process of being formally delivered to the president but that won’t happen before an Oval Office address Friday evening, Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said.
“So it won’t be today. The House and the Senate have to do their business. And so we’re going to work very quickly with them to get this done to make sure we can sign it, hopefully as soon as tomorrow,” Jean-Pierre told reporters Friday when asked when Biden might sign the measure.
The Senate late Thursday cleared for Biden’s signature legislation to suspend the US debt ceiling and impose restraints on government spending through the 2024 election, ending a drama that threatened the first-ever US default and a resulting global financial crisis.
Bills have to go through the formal step of being enrolled once both chambers of Congress pass them and before they can be signed by the president. Biden has pledged to sign the measure as soon as he receives it.
While Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has said the department is set to run out of money as soon as Monday, the department signaled Friday that a weekend signing would be enough time to keep payments flowing.
“Now that Congress has acted to suspend the debt limit, Treasury has the tools needed to ensure that the US continues to meet all of our obligations,” Treasury Spokesperson Chris Hayden said in a written statement.
Asked if the bill would be signed in time for Treasury to keep making payments, Jean-Pierre said the White House is “confident.”
“We are not nervous,” she said. “We’re going to get this done, certainly before June 5.”
“June 5 is on Monday, so he wants to get to to it as soon as possible,” she added.
Biden is poised to deliver an Oval Office address to Americans at 7 pm on Friday.
“There is a gravity, as you all can imagine, of this moment, so the president wanted to make sure he addressed the American people directly,” Jean-Pierre said Friday.
Read more: Debt-Limit Deal Clears Congress, Ending Threat of US Default
--With assistance from Jordan Fabian and Ryan Teague Beckwith.
(Updates with additional comments from Jean-Pierre in paragraphs 8-10)
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