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Top Obama aide predicts drama-free U.S. debt ceiling increase

Published on Jan 31, 2014 12:43 PM

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - A top White House official voiced confidence on Thursday that Republicans would agree in the next few weeks to lift the country's borrowing limit without using the confrontational tactics that rattled financial markets in past years.

White House Budget Director Sylvia Mathews Burwell said she believes there is less appetite on Capitol Hill for the messy fiscal standoffs that have taken place in recent years, such as the 2011 struggle over the debt limit and last October's budget fight that led to a 16-day shutdown of the government.

In an interview with Reuters, Ms Burwell pointed to the passage earlier this month of a US$1.1 trillion (S$2 trillion) bill to keep the government funded for the next nine months.

The vote to approve the budget bill followed an agreement reached in December between Republican Representative Paul Ryan and Democratic Senator Patty Murray that included some deficit reduction along with a modest easing of automatic budget cuts known as the "sequester."

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