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Debt ceiling to be raised for three months

12:21 PM, Jan 18, 2013   |    comments
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By Catalina Camia, USA TODAY

House Republicans said Friday they intend to extend the nation's borrowing authority for three months, but will not agree to a long-term increase on the debt limit until both chambers of Congress agree on a budget.

A three-month extension would ensure the federal government does not default on its obligations. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told Congress the nation will reach its debt limit sometime between mid-February and early-March.

A vote on the temporary debt limit extension will take place next week.

At the House GOP retreat in Williamsburg, Va., Speaker John Boehner will tell lawmakers that they will insist that members of Congress don't get paid until a budget is passed. Republicans are angry that the Democratic-controlled Senate has not passed a budget plan in four years.

"Before there is any long-term debt limit increase, a budget should be passed that cuts spending," Boehner will say, according to excerpts of his remarks released by his office. "We are going to pursue strategies that will obligate the Senate to finally join the House in confronting the government's spending problem. The principle is simple: No budget, no pay."

House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy of California, the GOP's No. 3 leader, said in a statement that the three-month extension will "meet our immediate obligations and ensure a responsible budget passes both chambers of Congress."

President Obama has asked Congress to increase the debt limit without any conditions, as a way to calm financial markets. The fight over raising the debt limit and automatic spending cuts that take effect March 1 will be among the thorniest to face Obama as he begins a second term.

House Republicans have been on a retreat in Williamsburg, Va., for the several days. It concludes Friday.

USA TODAY

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