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GOP moves to delay debt-ceiling showdown 3 months

January 22, 2013 • National News


FILE – This Dec. 28, 2012 file photo shows President Barack Obama speaking to reporters in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House in Washington. Republican leaders scramble for votes on a stopgap debt-limit measure that would let the government keep borrowing until at least mid-May, giving up for now on trying to win spending cuts from Democrats in return. But the respite would be only temporary, with major battles still to come between the GOP and President Barack Obama over taxes, spending and deficits. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Seeking to regain their budget footing versus President Barack Obama, Republicans controlling the House are moving quickly to try to defuse a potential debt crisis with legislation to prevent a first-ever U.S. default for at least three months.

The Republicans are giving up for now on trying to extract spending cuts from Democrats in return for an increase in the government’s borrowing cap. But the respite promises to be only temporary, with the stage still set for major battles between the GOP and Obama over taxes, spending and deficits.

The first step comes Wednesday with a House vote on GOP-sponsored legislation that would give the government enough borrowing leeway to meet three months’ worth of obligations, delaying a showdown next month that Republicans fear they would lose.

Republicans leaving a two-hour meeting Tuesday afternoon appeared confident that the measure would pass.

While it’s commonly assumed that the Treasury Department wouldn’t allow a disastrous default on U.S. Treasury notes, the prospect of failing to meet other U.S. obligations such as payments to contractors, unemployment benefits and Social Security checks would also be reputation shattering. House Login to read more

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