More kicking of the can: Republicans wish to extend debt limit to May 19

Republican leaders in the House of Representatives said they aim to pass on Wednesday a nearly four-month extension of the U.S. debt limit, to May 19.

The measure does not specify a new dollar amount but allows the government to borrow what is needed to meet its obligations during the extension period, according to legislative language released on Monday.

The proposed extension is a strategic move by House Republicans to back away from a fight over the federal debt ceiling and shift their demands to other fiscal deadlines that would not risk a devastating default on U.S. debt.

These deadlines include a March 1 launch of automatic spending cuts and a March 27 expiration of funding for government agencies and programs.

The U.S. Treasury expects to exhaust current authority to borrow money, now at $16.4 trillion, sometime between mid-February and early March.


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