Obama delays request for $1.2T debt limit increase

December 30, 2011 - 2:38 PM

HONOLULLU (AP) — President Barack Obama is delaying his request for another $1.2 trillion increase in the nation's debt limit at the request of congressional leaders.

It's basically because of a technicality.

The White House had been ready to ask for the increase Friday because the government is within $100 billion of exhausting its current borrowing authority. Congress would then have 15 days to reject the request, though Obama would veto any objections in order to ensure that the government does not default on its obligations.

But with Congress not due to return to Washington until mid-January, lawmakers asked Obama to delay his request so they would be in session during the 15-day window period allowed for objections.

"The administration is in discussions with leaders in both houses to determine the best timing for submission of certification and any subsequent votes in the two houses," White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Friday.

A senior administration official said Obama will make his request within days. The Treasury Department will use accounting measures to ensure that the nation does not reach its debt limit before the $1.2 trillion increase is finalized, said the official, who requested anonymity because the person lacked authority to speak publically.