WASHINGTON — Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin informed congressional leaders on Friday that the government could run out of money in early September, pleading with lawmakers to reach a deal to raise the government’s borrowing limit before their August recess or risk a potentially catastrophic default.

Mr. Mnuchin, in a letter to leadership, said that while “it is impossible to identify precisely” how long the Treasury’s resources can last, updated predictions indicated that “there is a scenario in which we run out of cash in early September, before Congress reconvenes.”

“As such,” Mr. Mnuchin wrote, “I request that Congress increase the debt ceiling before Congress leaves for summer recess.”

[Read the Mnuchin letter here.]

He and Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California have spoken by the phone multiple times this week, including two phone conversations Thursday evening, about the negotiations to both raise the debt ceiling and prevent a gutting round of governmentwide spending cuts from sweeping across all federal agencies.

“I am personally convinced that we should act on the caps and the debt ceiling,” Ms. Pelosi told reporters Thursday evening. “Prior to recess.”

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