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US Congressional Vote On Debt Issue Postponed

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Leaders of the U.S. House of Representatives announced late Thursday night that they will not hold a vote on a Republican plan to raise the U.S. borrowing limit and cut spending.

The vote was scheduled to be held earlier Thursday, but news outlets said the vote was delayed because Republican leaders are seeking more support among their rank-and-file members for a plan put forth by House Speaker John Boehner.

Boehner’s plan calls for raising the country’s $14.3 trillion borrowing limit in exchange for billions of dollars in spending cuts. The U.S. may default on some of its debt if it does not raise the debt ceiling by August 2 .

United States
United States

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer predicted earlier Thursday that no Democrats in the Republican-majority House will vote in favor of Boehner’s bill. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said on his Web site the Democratic-held Senate will defeat Boehner’s plan if it passes the House.

Boehner’s plan also has attracted criticism from the ultra-conservative Tea Party faction of the Republican party. Conservatives say it cuts too little spending.

Reid advocates a rival plan that he calls a compromise that incorporates many Republican goals. He says it would raise the debt limit, cut spending by $2.5 trillion, and abandon efforts to raise taxes.

White House spokesman Jay Carney says U.S. President Barack Obama is optimistic a compromise can be reached before the August 2 deadline. Carney says a successful compromise would significantly cut spending, set up a way to reform taxes and control spending on social programs, and lift the debt ceiling.

Without a deal on some kind of plan to raise the $14.3 trillion legal limit on borrowing by the deadline, the Treasury Department says it will not have enough money to pay all its bills. That could bring a default that would likely prompt rating agencies to cut the U.S. credit rating, bringing higher interest rates and hurting economic growth.

VOA

VOA

The VOA is the Voice of America

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