WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The House of Representatives will vote on a short-term boost to the U.S. debt limit this week to avoid a government default
and give lawmakers more time to try to cut the record federal deficit, House Democratic leader Steny Hoyer said on Tuesday.
Leaders are considering raising the current debt limit of $12.1 trillion by about $200 billion to $300 billion.
"Essentially that will get us an additional two months of fiscal ability," Hoyer told his weekly news conference.
Lawmakers hope to pass the debt-limit increase this week, along with a jobs-creation package.
Democratic leaders previously wanted to raise the limit by at least $1.8 trillion, enough to take care of the government's debt needs through the November 2010 congressional elections.
The smaller debt hike would cover government borrowing for about two months. That gives Democrats more time to resolve competing plans to get the budget under control, but forces them to revisit the issue again amid rising public concerns about the budget deficit.