The House will vote tomorrow on raising the U.S. debt limit without conditions, Speaker John Boehner said today, giving in to Democratic insistence on a so- called clean measure.
Boehner, an Ohio Republican, said Democrats will need to back the measure, which will get minimal Republican support.
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"We'll let the Democrats put the votes up," Boehner said. He said he had spoken to Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California, who told him there will be enough Democratic support to pass the measure.
Last night, Republicans had said they would move a debt- limit increase that would include benefits for military retirees. President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats have said for months that a debt-ceiling increase must not be combined with any other policy measures.
"The bottom line is we need to get our work done," Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions, a Texas Republican, told reporters today after a private party meeting. Regarding a simple extension, Sessions said, "That's what I think will end up passing."
A suspension of the U.S. debt limit enacted by Congress in October expired Feb. 7. Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew said last week that borrowing authority may not last past Feb. 27.
Boehner has struggled to find enough support from divided Republican lawmakers to increase the debt limit, joking last week that he'd have trouble getting enough votes from them even if the measure authorized sainthood for Mother Teresa.