White House to delay debt ceiling request

President Barack Obama has agreed to delay submitting a debt ceiling increase request to allow lawmakers time to consider it while they are in session, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said on Friday.

“We have been asked by the bicameral leadership of Congress to delay certification in order to give both houses time to consider when the votes may occur, given the current congressional schedule,” Earnest told reporters in Hawaii, where Obama is vacationing with his family.

“The president has agreed to Congress’ request to delay submission of the certification,” Earnest said.

According to Reuters, a White House official said the delay would be for days, not weeks, and that the US Treasury Department would be able to use accounting measures to avoid hitting the debt limit.

The credit-worthiness of the United States would not be in question because of the filing delay, the official said.

Congress has 15 days to vote on a resolution of disapproval for the debt limit hike once Obama submits the notification, but the president would be able to veto any such vote.

The debt had been projected to fall within $100bn of the current cap by December 30, when the United States has $82 billion in interest on its debt and payments such as the Social Security retirement program coming due.

President Barack Obama had been expected to ask this week for authority to increase the borrowing limit by $1.2tn, part of the spending authority that was negotiated between Congress and the White House this past summer.

The debt limit currently stands at $15.194tn and would increase to $16.394tn with the request.

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White House to delay debt ceiling request