|U.S. Speaker of the House John Boehner (R) answers questions at a press conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. on September 26, 2013. Boehner said U.S. should solve the goverment spending problem and bolster economy growth to avert a governmental shutdown when federal funding runs out next week. (Xinhua/Fang Zhe)
WASHINGTON, Sept. 26 (Xinhua) -- Top Republican leaders of U.S. House of Representatives said Thursday that they would tie increasing the government's borrowing capacity with a long list of economic reforms and party priorities, saying the world's largest economy has a debt problem.
House Republican lawmakers will tie important spending cuts and pro-growth reforms with a debt limit increase, U.S. House Speaker John Boehner said at a Thursday press conference.
"We're not going to ignore Washington's spending problem, and we're not going to accept this new normal of a weak economy, no new jobs, and shrinking wages," Boehner told reporters.
"We have a debt crisis in this nation. I don't think many people have differed with that notion. And we do have a plan to reduce wasteful government spending, which also spurs economic growth," House Majority Leader Eric Cantor told reporters.
House Republican lawmakers are introducing a plan of a debt limit increase tied with a long Republican wish list including approval of the long-stalled Keystone XL oil pipeline, reform of U. S. tax code and a one-year delay of the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare.
The lower chamber is expected to vote on this debt limit increase package in coming days.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew said Wednesday that the Treasury Department will run out of borrowing capacity no later than Oct. 17, urging Congress to raise the debt limit in a timely manner.
Washington now faces two looming deadlines: one for funding the government in the new fiscal year beginning Oct. 1; the other for the debt limit, which needs to be raised by Oct. 17.
The Republican-led House on Friday passed a stopgap spending bill, which was championed by the conservatives, to fund the government through Dec. 15 at current funding levels while prohibiting funding to implement the Obamacare.
"The American people don't want the President's health care bill, and they don't want the government to shut down," said Boehner, adding "it's time for the Senate to listen and pass the bill that we sent over there."
The House bill is moving to the Democrats-controlled Senate, where Democrats are expected to restore the Obamacare funding before sending it back to the House for passage by Sept. 30, the last day of the current fiscal year.
With less than one week remaining before a potential partial government shutdown, Republican and Democratic lawmakers are still locked in a fiscal stalemate.