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House GOP leaders consider extending debt limit to Sept. 30

Mike Dorning, Bloomberg News on

Published in News & Features

WASHINGTON — House Republican leaders are considering proposing a short-term extension of the federal debt ceiling to delay the risk of a default until Sept. 30, according a person familiar with their deliberations.

The strategy is merely an option under consideration, and it isn’t clear whether the Democratic-controlled Senate or White House would agree to such a brief delay, said the person, who asked not to be identified. Roll Call reported earlier that the idea was being discussed.

Such a step would tie the debt limit debate more closely to federal spending and offer more options for negotiation since the debt talks then would be combined with annual deal-making on the funding package that keeps the government operating. Annual appropriations bills run out Sept. 30.


It also would amplify the atmosphere of crisis at the deadline, since failure to act would cause a default on U.S. debts and a partial government shutdown at the same time.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told Congress earlier this month that the nation had hit its $31.4 trillion debt limit but that “extraordinary measures” such as deferring contributions to pension funds would stave off a U.S. default until at least early June. Some analysts say accounting maneuvers could avert a reckoning until July or even later.

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