US Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell on Sunday said that Congress will not hurry in raising the borrowing limit of the federal government, but will remain committal for acting in time in order to avoid Washington defaulting on its debt.
“We will handle the debt ceiling of the federal government over a period of months,” McConnell said in an interview to CBS’ “Face the Nation” program.
Treasury Secretary Jack Lew on Friday urged Congress to raise the statutory cap on the federal borrowing at the earliest.
The Obama-led government is likely to get its borrowing authority exhausted around March 15. But experts say it can take emergency measure to continue paying its bills. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office has estimated that such initiatives will be exhausted sometime in October or November.
McConnell said, “I made it very clear after the November election in 2014 that we are certainly not going to close the government or default on the national debt.”
Many Republican lawmakers have predicted that the battle over raising the borrowing limit of the federal government could be even more intense as well as difficult than the recent slugfest between Republicans and Democrats over a funding bill that aimed at providing funds to the Department of Homeland Security. Senate Republicans had tied the security agency’s funding issue to an attempt to block the new immigration policies by President Barack Obama.