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Thursday 9 February 2023 Dublin: 2°C
J. Scott Applewhite/AP John Boehner called off a planned vote on a draft budget last night, with the US now just four days from its legal debt limit.
# Debt Crisis
Republicans delay crucial vote as US creeps closer to default
John Boehner calls off a vote on a draft plan to cut the US deficit, amid fears that party members wouldn’t back it.

THE POLITICAL DEADLOCK over the United States’ budget has brought the world’s largest economy a day closer to default, after Republican leader John Boehner delayed a vote on a draft plan to slash government spending.

Boehner, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, had planned to call a vote on the proposals yesterday evening but postponed the vote for a few hours – trying to ensure that his parliamentary majority would hold up – before calling a halt to the night’s proceedings entirely.

Reuters says the House’s Republican members were set to meet in private this morning to re-examine their options as a budget crisis looms. The Washington Post added that it wasn’t clear whether a vote could even be held today.

Regardless of whether it clears the House, the bill – which would propose $917bn in spending cuts – is not likely to make it through the Democrat-controlled Senate in its original form, but it could still end up being adapted in some way to form an overall compromise.

It is estimated that, without a deal to start tackling America’s growing budget deficit, the US will reach its legal limit for its national debt by Tuesday.

A separate Reuters report said US Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner could today unveil an emergency plan explaining exactly how it would react if it was legally barred from borrowing any more cash.

Boehner’s proposals would also have raised the debt ceiling by enough to keep the country’s economy moving until January, by which time another more long-term Budget would be needed.

More: A bluffer’s guide to… the US debt ceiling >

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