U.S. debt limit increase not needed this year -Sen. McConnell

U.S. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell carries a book titled “The Myth of American Inequality” as he walks to his office at the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, U.S., November 15, 2022. REUTERS/Leah Millis

WASHINGTON, Nov 15 (Reuters) - U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday downplayed the likelihood the chamber will vote by year's end to raise the federal government's statutory limit on borrowing, noting that such legislation is not needed until next year.

"I don't think the debt limit issue is until sometime next year," McConnell told reporters when asked whether the Senate could vote on an increase during the chamber's post-election work session that began on Monday and could extend until late December.

Treasury Department officials have voiced a desire for Congress to raise the debt limit during this Congress, fearing that it could become more difficult next year if Republicans, as expected, take majority control of the House of Representatives from Democrats.

Many conservative Republicans have advocated holding back on a debt limit increase next year until significant domestic spending cuts are enacted by Congress, raising fears of a possible historic default on debt payments by the federal government.

That, in turn, could shake global financial markets.

Democrats have been urging timely action to avoid such shocks to the U.S. economy and financial markets.

Reporting by Richard Cowan; Editing by Mark Porter and Deepa Babington

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