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Using a loophole in the budget agreement reached back in August, President Barack Obama hopes to sneak an increase in the debt ceiling through while Congress is out on recess and can’t vote to stop it.
The deal reached back in August to avert a government shutdown allows the President to automatically raise the debt limit cap unless Congress votes to to block it within 15 days of the hike.
White House sources tell Capitol Hill Blue that Obama will set a hike by the end of the week and with Congress not due back from the holiday recess until January 17 the 15 days will come and go with little chance for lawmakers to do anything but bitch and moan — which some will surely do.
The government is within $100 million of the current $15.194 trillion debt ceiling and Obama will set the increase to $16.394 trillion to help cover $82 billion in interest due by December 31 on the current debt and the escalating costs of Social Security and other entitlements.
Even if Congress finds a way to come back before Jan. 17 and vote down the increase, Obama can still veto the measure and the a two-thirds vote would be necessary to overturn it.
“The President’s timing is not a coincidence,” a senior aide told Capitol Hill Blue Tuesday.