White House encouraged at House plans for clean debt cap rise
WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - The White House on Friday said it welcomed plans by Republicans in the United States (US) House of Representatives to raise the government's debt ceiling, as long as they do not condition the increase on spending cuts.
"We are encouraged that there are signs that congressional Republicans may back off their insistence on holding our economy hostage to extract drastic cuts in Medicare, education and programs middle class families depend on," White House spokesman Jay Carney said in a statement. "Congress must pay its bills and pass a clean debt limit increase without further delay."
The House will consider a bill next week to extend the debt limit by three months in order to force the Senate to pass a budget, Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said on Friday.
The White House has been skeptical about any short-term increase in the nation's borrowing limit if it were used as a bargaining wedge to force the administration into accepting spending cuts later on. The administration has insisted that while it is willing to discuss reducing government outlays, it will refuse to negotiate over raising the debt ceiling.