WASHINGTON, Jan 16 (Reuters) - U.S. House Speaker John Boehner on Thursday said the United States should avoid a major fight over raising the federal debt ceiling that brings the United States close to a default.
After passage of a $1.1 trillion spending bill, the only major fiscal hurdle facing Congress over the next nine months is an increase in the $17 trillion debt ceiling that is expected to be needed in as little as six weeks.
Boehner told a news conference that the United States should not default on its debt and “shouldn’t even get close to it.”
He did not say whether Republicans would tie an increase in the debt ceiling to demands for additional deficit reduction. An extension of U.S. borrowing authority is due to expire on Feb. 7, but Treasury Department has said its extraordinary cash management measures can allow it to keep issuing new debt until late February or early March.