Obama delays request for debt ceiling

Updated: 2011-12-31 06:17


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WASHINGTON - US President Barack Obama would delay request for the $1.2-trillion debt ceiling increase to allow vacationing lawmakers time to consider the petition, a senior White House official said Friday.

The Obama administration said Tuesday that it would request Congress to raise the federal government's borrowing limit by $1.2 trillion this week. The president may submit a written certification to Congress, and Congress may have 15 days to consider a joint resolution of disapproval though Obama may veto their objection.

If Obama had requested the increase on Friday, Congress would have still been on vacation during that 15 day window. Congressional leaders asked for a delay of the request so lawmakers would have time to voice their opinions.

The Treasury figures revealed that the federal government was expected to come within $100 billion of the current $15.2-trillion debt ceiling by the end of this year.

After months of contentious partisan wrangling, Republicans and Democrats this summer agreed to increase the federal government's borrowing limit by 2.1 trillion dollars from about $14.3 trillion in three steps.

The borrowing limit of US federal government was raised in July and September by $400 billion and $500 billion respectively.