Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew on Sunday defended accusations of fear mongering over Congress potentially failing to increase the federal debt limit — including his assertion that the economic impact would be “catastrophic.” He declined, however, to provide specific examples, saying instead that Congress blowing the Oct. 17 debt-limit deadline would be “reckless.”

“The consequences are immediate and very bad,” Lew said on “Fox News Sunday.” “The direction is bad. There is a range of how bad.”

Lew also said the White House is willing to negotiate on fiscal issues, despite President Obama repeatedly saying he won’t have those talks as part of a debt-ceiling deal.

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