WASHINGTON Jan 18 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