WASHINGTON, Feb 11 (Reuters) - President Barack Obama will sign an executive order establishing a commission to tackle the federal government's long-term fiscal challenges in the next 10 days or so, the White House said on Thursday.

Obama, who hopes to persuade Republicans as well as members of his own Democratic party to serve on the debt panel, had been expected to set it up this week. But this plan was disrupted by a severe winter storm that dumped heavy snow on Washington, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said.

Gibbs also told a news briefing that Obama may sign a bill raising the U.S. government's authority to borrow by the end of the week, or over the weekend.

The White House had previously said this bill, which also incorporates so-called pay-as-you-go rules to curb spending, would be signed on Tuesday or Wednesday.

Obama is creating a debt panel through executive order after Congress failed to pass one, despite the dire need for a credible plan to tackle federal deficits seen at a record $1.56 trillion in fiscal 2010.

The U.S. capital was paralyzed by some of the heaviest snow in a generation on Wednesday, closing government buildings and shutting down much of the region's transportation.

(Reporting by Alister Bull; Editing by )