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House Republicans Offer Path to Avert Debt Ceiling Stand-off

<span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: arial, sans-serif; line-height: normal; text-align: left; ">House Republicans said Friday they would allow a vote next week on a short-term increase in the debt ceiling.</span><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: arial, sans-serif; line-height: normal; text-align: left; "><br></span>

House Republicans said Friday they would allow a vote next week on a short-term increase in the debt ceiling, a move that could avert a risky stand-off with President Obama -- at least for now. 

Meeting at a retreat in Virginia, House GOP leaders said they would move on a measure allowing the government to borrow for about three more months. Without an extension, the country is expected to exhaust that authority by mid-February, risking the possibility of a market-rattling default. 

While Obama has warned Republicans not to challenge him on the debt ceiling, Republicans still see that issue as key leverage to extract spending cuts from Democrats at a time when the debt is well above $16 trillion. 

They made clear Friday that they'd continue to press for deficit reduction, but said the next long-term debt-ceiling vote would be conditioned on Congress debating a bona fide budget. 

"Unless the Senate acts, there will be no consideration of a long-term debt-ceiling increase," House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said. 

The Senate has not passed a full-scale budget since 2009, which has drawn lots of criticism from Republicans but protected Democrats controlling the chamber from politically difficult votes. 

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