US House passes debt extension bill
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The US House of Representatives approved legislation Wednesday to suspend for nearly four months the requirement for Congress to approve a higher limit on America's borrowing, as Republicans who control the chamber backed away from an immediate battle with second-term President Barack Obama and a possible first-ever default on the country's obligations.
At issue is the US debt — nearly $16.5 trillion and rising fast. The law requires that Congress approve raising the amount the federal government can borrow to pay its obligations — such as payments to contractors, unemployment benefits and interest payments to US bondholders — as the debt exceeds the previous limit.
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