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Obama to consider debt limit offer

11 October 2013, 09:00

Washington - The White House said on Thursday that President Barack Obama would consider signing a short-term deal raising the debt ceiling, depending on the details of what Republican lawmakers propose.

"The president is happy that cooler heads at least seem to be prevailing in the House, that there at least seems to be a recognition that default is not an option," White House spokesperson Jay Carney said.

But Carney did not guarantee that Obama would sign the short-term debt limit deal offered by Republicans, saying the White House had seen no details of the plan.

"We will see what the House Republicans propose, we will see what they are able to pass and consider it then," Carney said.

Obama has consistently called on Republicans to raise the current $16.7 trillion dollar debt ceiling ahead of an October 17 deadline without ideological conditions.

If they do not do so the Treasury will run out of money and may be unable to meet US obligations for the first time in history.

"The president has always said he would sign a clean debt limit increase," Carney said, but said Obama would prefer a long-term solution to the issue.

Carney was clearly seeking to preserve room for Obama to balk at the Republican plan should it include conditions to raising the debt ceiling that he sees as continuing to hold him to "ransom".

Obama will likely get a look at the exact Republican proposal for a six week hike to US borrowing authority at a meeting with party leaders at the White House later on Thursday.

Carney also said that Obama would maintain his position that he will not negotiate with Republicans on a long term budget deal while the government is shutdown.

The Republican plan to raise the debt ceiling revealed earlier Thursday did not include a deal to reopen the federal government, which has been shuttered since 1 October.



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