Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew says the just-resolved budget fight was "a little bit scary" because it pushed the country near the brink of default. And he says that can't be allowed to happen again.
Lew says this latest battle was scarier than a 2011 budget fight because it got "so close to the edge."
An impasse between Obama and Republicans over spending led to a 16-day, partial government shutdown that ended last week.
Lawmakers also pushed the country to the edge of default by threatening the Treasury Department's authority to continue borrowing money to pay the nation's bills.
The situation was temporarily resolved when Congress agreed to reopen the government through Jan. 15 and allow Treasury's borrowing to continue through Feb. 7.
A group of House and Senate lawmakers now has until Dec. 13 to produce a spending deal to stave off another shutdown and possible default in early 2014.
Lew was interviewed on NBC's "Meet the Press."