WASHINGTON Feb 10 Republican leaders in the
U.S. House of Representatives will seek to make an increase in
the federal debt limit conditional on the repeal of a planned
cut in military pension benefits approved in December,
Representative Mo Brooks said on Monday.
Brooks, who spoke as he was leaving a meeting of House
Republicans, said he did not believe the plan would attract the
support of a majority of his party colleagues because of its
cost of about $7 billion over 10 years. Several Republicans left
the meeting voicing skepticism about the plan, but House Speaker
John Boehner could try to win enough Democratic votes to secure
The Republican leadership proposed to pay for the reversal
of the pension reductions by extending automatic spending cuts
on non-discretionary federal programs by an additional year. But
Brooks said many Republicans were concerned that the offset was
too far into the future.
The U.S. Treasury has said it will exhaust all remaining
borrowing capacity if the $17 trillion debt limit is not
increased by Feb. 27 and could begin to experience payment
difficulties shortly thereafter.