Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell reiterated a vow not to shut down the U.S. government or risk a default over a political fight to raise the nation's debt ceiling, which will be reached on March 16.

"I made it very clear after the November election that we're certainly not going to shut down the government or default on the national debt," the Republican from Kentucky told CBS's Face the Nation on Sunday.

Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew said Friday he hoped Congress would "address this matter without controversy or brinkmanship."

"The debt ceiling will be handled over a period of months," McConnell said. "The secretary of the treasury has a number of what we call tools in his toolbox."

The U.S. probably doesn't need to raise the ceiling until October due in part to tax-return income, the Congressional Budget Office said Tuesday. - Bloomberg