Geithner says Congress must raise debt limit

WASHINGTON Wed Mar 16, 2011 3:26pm EDT

Timothy F. Geithner, Secretary of the Treasury, holds papers before testifying to the Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee on Capitol Hill in Washington on March 16, 2011. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Timothy F. Geithner, Secretary of the Treasury, holds papers before testifying to the Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee on Capitol Hill in Washington on March 16, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Joshua Roberts

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said on Wednesday that there was no alternative except for Congress to raise the debt ceiling so that the government can keep borrowing.

"Congress has to do it. There's no alternative," he said in response to questions at a House of Representatives appropriations subcommittee.

He repeated a warning that it would be have "catastrophic" consequences for the economy if the debt ceiling was not raised and the country defaulted on its debt obligations.

(Reporting by Glenn Somerville; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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