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White House 'Welcomes' House Vote On Extending Debt Limit

President Obama "welcomes" the plan by House Republicans to vote Wednesday on a three-month extension of the nation's borrowing limit, White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters today, and "would not stand in the way of the bill becoming law." ( The Hill)

NPR's Scott Horsley tells us that Carney also said that "House Republicans made a decision to back away from a kind of brinksmanship that was very concerning to the markets, very concerning to business, very concerning to the American people." The White House views that as a sign of progress, Carney said.

As we wrote Friday, "in a move that could head off another bruising battle over increasing the nation's debt ceiling," the GOP leadership is looking to give the Treasury the OK to borrow for another three months — in the hope that will be more than enough time for the Senate to pass a budget that includes cuts in spending. The federal government is expected to hit its borrowing limit in mid-February.

If either chamber of Congress doesn't pass such a budget by April 15, "pay for members of the chamber that doesn't act will be withheld and placed in an escrow account," Bloomberg News adds.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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  • House Republicans held their annual retreat this week in Williamsburg, Va., to figure out their next steps. They dropped a demand to have spending cuts for ever dollar the debt ceiling is raised, at least for the next three months. GOP lawmakers are now pinning their hopes for deficit reduction on other looming budget battles.
  • GOP leaders in the House say that will give Democrats in the Senate time to pass a budget that cuts spending. And if Congress doesn't pass a budget, they say, lawmakers shouldn't get their full pay. The move could put off another bruising battle over the borrowing limit.
  • President Obama gave the last news conference of his first term on Monday. The president said Congress must break the habit of negotiating its way through crisis over and over again.