U.S. treasury secretary urges Congress to raise debt ceiling

09:16, January 07, 2011      

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U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on Thursday urged the Congress to raise the nation's public debt limit, saying that failure to do so would affect the nation's job creation efforts and U.S. firms' ability to borrow.

Geithner noted in a letter to congressional leaders that the U. S. government would reach the 14.3 trillion U.S. dollars ceiling of borrowing as early as this March.

He argued that inaction to raise the debt limit would lead to job losses and push up the interest rate, which would make it more difficult for U.S. companies to raise fund.

Even a short-term government default would have "catastrophic economic consequences," Geithner said.

The combined U.S. public debt stood at nearly 14 trillion U.S. dollars currently, and to raise the debt ceiling would be a contentious issue this year, as many newly-elected Republican congressmen vowed to cut government spending in their campaigns.

Republican U.S. House Speaker John Boehner said on Thursday that "a spending limit" must be set, and the debt limit should not be lifted without "corrective actions" being taken.

Source: Xinhua

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