WASHINGTON, Jan. 22 (Xinhua)-- The White House on Tuesday said they welcomed the House Republicans' proposal of a short-term extension of debt limit and the President would sign the bill if it could reach his desk.
White House spokesman Jay Carney said in a news briefing that U. S. President Barack Obama would prefer a long-term raising of the debt limit, but the GOP's shift from their hard-line stance was " certainly something that we welcome."
"We want to see the debt ceiling sort of removed from the process of the very important debates that we have over what we pay for, how much revenue we bring in, how we get our fiscal house in order," said Carney. "What happened ... was a very significant development in terms of de-escalating the sense of conflict over this."
While cautioning that the bill has to overcome some concerns expressed by members of the House and the Senate before it can pass both chambers and reach the President's desk, Carney said Obama would not stand in the way of the bill becoming law.
The United States has already reached its 16.4-trillion-dollar debt limit, and the Treasury Department has said it could run out of extraordinary measures to pay the government bills by mid- February.
Top Republican lawmakers said Friday that the House would vote on a bill this week to extend the nation's borrowing authority by three months in order to force the Senate to pass a budget to cut government outlays. They have backed down from the demand that any debt ceiling increase be accompanied by comparable spending cuts.
The bill, which is likely to be approved by the House Wednesday, would extend government borrowing authority until May, and set a deadline for the House and Senate to pass a formal budget.