Nation/World

Democrat leader eyes debt increase

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer gestures at a Washington, D.C., news conference Friday.  (Associated Press)
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer gestures at a Washington, D.C., news conference Friday. (Associated Press)

WASHINGTON – A top House Democratic leader said Friday Congress will have to permit at least $1.8 trillion in additional federal borrowing next year in order to avoid a default on the U.S. debt.

Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said that an increase in the so-called debt limit would have to be in the neighborhood of $1.8 trillion to $1.9 trillion to allow the government to borrow enough money to keep the government running through December of next year.

Democrats are struggling to pass an increase in the $12.1 trillion cap on borrowing before the end of the year and are trying to pass an increase large enough so that they won’t have to vote again on the issue before next year’s midterm elections.

To win the votes of moderate “Blue Dog” Democrats for the politically unpopular debt limit, Hoyer pledged to attach to the debt limit increase a strict “pay-as-you-go” budget law.



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