House Republican leaders have scheduled a vote on Wednesday on a nearly four-month extension of U.S. borrowing capacity, but the bill does not specify a dollar amount.
Legislative language released by the House Rules Committee on Monday said the bill aims "to ensure complete and timely payment of the obligations of the United States Government until May 19, 2013."
The legislation is a strategic move by House Republicans to avoid a fight over the looming federal debt ceiling and shift their negotiating leverage for spending cuts to other fiscal deadlines. The U.S. Treasury expects to exhaust all remaining power to borrow money under the $16.4 trillion debt limit sometime between mid-February or early March.
The strategy shift, agreed last week by House Republicans at a retreat in Williamsburg, Va.,, aims to draw the Democratic-controlled Senate into taking action to cut deficits by requiring the Senate to pass a budget resolution by April 15. The Senate has not passed a budget in nearly four years.