Debt Limit Resolved Today?, It is possible, House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner at a closed-door session with fellow Republicans is expected to discuss his revised plan to raise the debt ceiling in a two-step process that links any debt increase with spending cuts. Meeting is set for 9 a.m. EDT (1300 GMT)
With financial markets increasingly on edge, the White House said it saw no alternative to striking a deal to raise the government's borrowing limit by an August 2 deadline to allow the world's largest economy to keep paying all of its bills.
Even if a deal is reached to lift the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling, a budget plan that flinches from hefty cuts in the deficit may result in a downgrade of the top-notch U.S. credit rating. This would push up U.S. borrowing costs and rattle global investors.
The faltering moves to break the deadlock are weighing on markets. Along with the uncertainty, Wall Street was hit by weak earnings and lackluster economic data, suffering its worst day in eight weeks.
Boehner rushed to revise his two-step proposal after an analysis by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office found it would cut spending by $350 billion less than the $1.2 trillion over 10 years he had claimed.
His new plan, which may make it easier for him to obtain backing from fiscal conservatives, reduces the debt ceiling increase to a maximum of $900 billion, covering the nation's borrowing needs until about November. A technical tweak boosts the projected spending cuts to $917 billion.
Some analysts say the government may have enough cash on hand to pay bills until the middle of the month but the Obama administration says the August 2 deadline is unavoidable.
Several House Democrats planned a news conference for Thursday to urge Obama to invoke an obscure clause of the U.S. Constitution to raise the debt ceiling on his own if needed.
The White House has dismissed this idea of using the 14th Amendment but Obama has a range of unilateral options he can take.
"A default or downgrade on U.S. debt would cause considerable problems for Japan's financial system," said Hidetoshi Kamezaki, a board member of the Bank of Japan.
France's budget minister, Valerie Pecresse, urged Washington to come to an agreement.
"The global economy needs an American agreement," Pecresse said.
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