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House GOP leaders consider extending debt limit to Sept. 30

Mike Dorning and Josh Wingrove, 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, a step that would allow more time to resolve an impasse with Democrats.

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

President Joe Biden lashed out at Republicans on Thursday, saying he would not negotiate on the debt limit and accusing the GOP of threatening the American public with financial turmoil to extract political concessions.

“I will not let anyone use the full faith and credit of the United States as a bargaining chip,” Biden said at an event with union workers in Springfield, Virginia. “In the United States of America, we pay our debts.”

The White House didn’t immediately respond to a question on the Republican deliberations.

The standoff between Biden and Republicans could unleash economic catastrophe if it’s not resolved in time. Financial markets are operating the assumption that a compromise will be reached, even if it’s at the brink of a default, as was the case in 2011.


The temporary debt-limit suspension House leaders are discussing would tie the debate more closely to federal spending and offer more options for negotiation since the debt talks then would be combined with deal-making on the funding package that keeps the government operating. Annual appropriations bills run out Sept. 30.

But the strategy would heighten 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.

Still, it’s not clear even a short delay on a default would muster support from Republican hard-liners. Rep. Andy Harris, a Maryland Republican, said he wouldn’t vote for such an extension without concessions from Democrats.

“I don’t support any ‘clean’ short-term debt ceiling extension, but might support one that included at least some elements of future spending control,” he said in a statement.


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