WASHINGTON, (UPI) — House Republicans took the first step Monday to defuse the U.S. debt ceiling fight, introducing legislation that suspends the spending cap until May 19.
The United States hit its $16.4 trillion borrowing limit New Year’s Eve and the Treasury has used accounting tricks since then to keep the country from defaulting.
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has warned the juggling cannot go on indefinitely.
The House Rules Committee planned an emergency meeting for Tuesday to discuss the legislation, which was posted Monday. The measure also sets aside Congress’ pay if members fail to pass a budget by April 15, The Hill reported.
“Before there is any long-term debt-limit increase, a budget should be passed that cuts spending,” House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said Friday following the annual GOP retreat.
Leading Senate Democrats have pledged to rise to the challenging, promising a budget proposal that would raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans.