White House ‘encouraged’ by debt-ceiling bill

The Obama administration will not oppose House Republicans' plan to suspend the debt ceiling for three months.

The Republican bill "is a short-term measure and introduces unnecessary complications," an Office of Management and Budget statement says, but "the Administration is encouraged that [the legislation] lifts the immediate threat of default." "For these reasons, the Administration would not oppose a short-term solution to the debt limit and looks forward to continuing to work with both the House and the Senate to increase certainty and stability for the economy," the OMB adds.

White House spokesman Jay Carney called the House Republicans’ measure “a very significant development in reducing the conflict over this and reducing the fear over a process that had always had the potential of spinning out of control.”

"The House Republicans made a decision to back away from the kind of brinksmanship that was very concerning to the markets, very concerning to business, very concerning to the American people — the simple proposition that they would insist on cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, in return for doing their job, paying their bills," Carney said during a news conference.  "That was obviously something the president could not and would not support.  That’s why he made clear he would not negotiate over the debt ceiling.  So the fact that the House Republicans have made this decision is certainly something that we welcome."

He added: “We take heart from the numerous statements of Republicans leading up to this decision, the statements from Republicans who made clear it was not the right thing to do to play chicken with the full faith and credit of the United States. It’s not the right thing to do to extract demands from the president and Democratic Party.”

This post has been updated since it was first published.

Rachel Weiner covers local politics for The Washington Post.
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