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Republicans Offer Three-Month Increase In Debt Ceiling

In a move that could head off another bruising battle over increasing the nation's debt ceiling, GOP leaders in the House plan to approve a three-month increase in the nation's borrowing authority next week, NPR's S.V. Date reports.

But, he tells our Newscast Desk, Republicans want to tie a longer-term increase to the passage of a budget that cuts spending.

His report continues:

"The plan comes from Majority Leader Eric Cantor as House Republicans wrap up a retreat in Southern Virginia.

"Cantor writes that the three-month extension would give time for the Senate to pass a budget, which it hasn't done in four years. Further, if Congress fails to pass a budget, House members and senators would not get paid until they did.

"President Obama has insisted on a longer-term increase in the borrowing authority because short-term increases would be disruptive to the financial markets.

"It's not yet clear how the Democratic-controlled Senate would react to a three-month increase. The Treasury has projected it will be unable to pay the nation's bills as early as mid-February unless something is done."

The Washington Post writes that "a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid, D-Nev., said Friday that it was 'reassuring to see Republicans beginning to back off their threat to hold our economy hostage.' Spokesman Adam Jentleson said the Senate would 'be happy to consider' an increase in the debt ceiling that arrives without conditions. He did not address how the Senate would treat the House's proposal to tie member pay to the passage of a budget."

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