US House passes 'clean' debt-limit bill
The US House of Representatives Tuesday approved a bill with no provisions attached to extend the limit on the federal government's borrowing authority.
The legislation, approved in a 221-201 vote, would suspend the debt ceiling until March 15, 2015, allowing the Treasury Department to issue new debt above the current $17.2 trillion cap, Xinhua reported.
The bill eliminates the threat of default and puts off debate on the issue till after the 2014 midterm elections.
It signifies a retreat from a long-held Republican strategy of seeking concessions in exchange for a debt-limit increase, delivering victory to US President Barack Obama who has demanded a debt limit hike without conditions.
House Speaker John Boehner told reporters Tuesday morning that he would 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.
Without an increase in the statutory borrowing limit, the U.S. government would face the threat of a historic default that could wreak havoc in global financial markets and hurt economic recovery.
The Democratic-controlled Senate would hold a vote on the bill Wednesday. Congressional Democrats have long insisted the debt limit be raised with no strings attached.
(Posted on 12-02-2014)