White House encouraged at House plans for clean debt cap rise

WASHINGTON Fri Jan 18, 2013 2:39pm EST

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WASHINGTON Jan 18 (Reuters) - The White House on Friday welcomed plans by U.S. House of Representatives Republicans to raise the government's debt ceiling, as long as the increase is not conditioned upon spending cuts.

"We are encouraged that there are signs that congressional Republicans may back off their insistence on holding our economy hostage to extract drastic cuts in Medicare, education and programs middle class families depend on," White House spokesman Jay Carney said in a statement. "Congress must pay its bills and pass a clean debt limit increase without further delay."

The House will consider a bill next week to extend the debt limit by three months in order to force the Senate to pass a budget, Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said on Friday.

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