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U.S. House to vote on "clean" debt limit hike bill

English.news.cn   2014-02-12 00:46:55

WASHINGTON, Feb. 11 (Xinhua) -- U.S. House Republicans said Tuesday that they would introduce a bill with no provisions attached to increase the limit on the federal government's borrowing authority, which is set to expire late February.

House Speaker John Boehner told reporters that he will advance a "clean" debt limit bill to the House floor, abandoning a proposal circulated Monday which would have linked the debt limit increase with a reversal of military benefits cuts.

On Monday night, Boehner laid out a plan to pair the debt limit hike with a restoration of the veterans' benefits, which were cut in last year's bipartisan budget agreement. However, the plan failed to garner enough support among the Republican members and the GOP leader worried that Democrats would not go along.

The House Republican leaders had struggled for more than a week to come up with policy provisions to attach to an increase in the nation's borrowing limit. The decision to go forward with a "clean " debt ceiling bill highlighted the lack of consensus and the growing sense of urgency for Republicans who face a truncated calendar ahead of the Feb. 27 deadline set by Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew.

It was also a retreat from a long-held Republican strategy of seeking concessions in exchange for a debt limit increase, delivering victory to U.S. President Barack Obama who has demanded a debt limit hike without conditions.

The House will vote Tuesday night on the clean bill, as lawmakers are set to depart Wednesday for a nearly two-week recess.

Boehner said the Republicans will provide the requisite numbers of votes for the measure, and the Democrats will be expected to " put the votes up."

Steny Hoyer, the second-ranking House Democrat, said he would back the clean debt limit bill coming to the House floor and expected 180 or more of his fellow Democrats to embrace it.

It was not clear when the Democratic-controlled Senate would debate and pass the measure. Without an increase in the statutory borrowing limit, the U.S. government would face the threat of a historic default that could wreak havoc on global financial markets and hurt economic recovery.

Editor: Mu Xuequan
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