Treasury wants Congress to heed a Republican debt limit plan

WASHINGTON Wed Dec 5, 2012 12:58pm EST

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Treasury said on Wednesday it wants Congress to adopt rules that would allow President Barack Obama to veto any denial of his request to increase the country's debt ceiling.

Under the provision, first proposed by Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell during last year's debt limit negotiations, Congress would have 15 days to deny the president's request for raising the statutory limit.

Even if both the House of Representatives and the Senate disapprove of the measure, the president could veto their resolution of disapproval, allowing the debt limit to be increased unless there is a two-thirds majority opposing it in both chambers.

Treasury has said it would bump into the debt ceiling by the end of this year, but there are emergency actions it can take that analysts say should enable the government to keep paying the bills into February.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat, said on November 29 that Obama would not sign any "fiscal cliff" agreement that did not include an increase in the nation's $16.4 trillion statutory debt limit.

(Reporting by Pedro Nicolaci da Costa; Editing by Jackie Frank and Vicki Allen)