Republican leaders have delayed a crucial House of Representatives vote on a plan to raise the U.S. debt ceiling after struggling to gain support from more conservative members of the party.
A vote on a bill championed by Republican House Speaker John Boehner had been scheduled for 6 p.m. local time Thursday, but was delayed as Boehner and his lieutenants fought for support among rank-and-file Republicans, many of whom feel the bill does not cut enough from the U.S. budget.
A large number of pizzas were seen being delivered to the House Republican leadership offices late Thursday as the party’s leadership continued to press for support. There were reports that a bill would instead be brought to the floor Friday.
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The bill proposed by House Republicans would see the country’s borrowing limit raised by up to $900 billion along with $917 billion trimmed from the U.S. budget deficit over 10 years.
Some Republicans in the House are Tea Party supporters opposed any raise of the debt ceiling, while almost all of the Democrats are opposed to the deep cuts to public spending.
And even if the House passes the bill, the Democratic-controlled Senate won’t follow suit.
But time is running out: the U.S. Treasury has warned the government that it will default on its debt unless a $14.3 trillion borrowing limit is increased by August 2.
Fraught U.S. political divisions continued to weigh on financial markets Thursday, amid fears the United States could lose its AAA credit rating, hurting global markets.
International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde warned that if the U.S. debt limit was not increased there could be an impact on the U.S. dollar.
"One of the consequences could be a decline of the dollar as a reserve currency and a dent in people's confidence in the dollar," she said, according to the BBC.