Republican debt offer could stave off US default fears
WASHINGTON (AFP) - Republicans offered a short term lift to the US debt ceiling on Thursday, sending stock prices soaring on signs that a bitter political impasse could end short of a historic default.
But the Republican offer of a six-week extension to US borrowing authority would not end the partial shutdown of the US government until President Barack Obama enters talks on a long-term budget deal - a step the White House has so far refused to take.
"Listen, it's time for leadership," Republican House Speaker John Boehner said after meeting his restive caucus ahead of a separate meeting with his fellow party leaders with Mr Obama at the White House.
"What we have discussed as a conference is a temporary extension of the debt ceiling - in exchange for a real commitment by this president and the Senate majority leader to sit down and talk about the pressing problems that are facing all the American people," Mr Boehner said.