WASHINGTON – On Thursday U.S. President Barack Obama asked Congress to increase the debt ceiling of U.S. $ 1.2 trillion, a query that is a mere formality but has implications in this presidential election year.
It was the third and last time that Mr. Obama could make such an application under an agreement between the White House and lawmakers in August to prevent the U.S. government is not found in default .
Congress has 15 days to reject the request. The Republican majority in the House of Representatives, always eager to criticize the policies of Democratic president on spending, immediately announced it would hold a vote next week on a resolution disapproving the request.
Such a resolution has not chance of being accepted by the Senate, dominated by Democrats. And even if it did, the White House said Obama would use its veto to prevent default.
With this rise, the ceiling of U.S. debt will reach 16 400 billion dollars. This will enable the Government to continue to borrow until the end of 2012 or until the presidential elections in November.
At the end of last summer, the Obama administration and Congress agreed to raise the debt ceiling to $ 2.1 trillion in three stages, or $ 400 million in August, $ 500 million in September and $ 1.2 trillion in in December.