Today the House will attempt to advance an unusual Republican proposal to simply ignore the debt limit until May 18, making the current debt ceiling crisis disappear and with it, the threat of imminent default.
The move would give lawmakers more time to negotiate a more long-term solution to the national debt issue and the White House said it would not oppose the measure.
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The current legal debt limit of $16.4 trillion would still be in effect but its enforcement would be suspended until the May date.
Such an approach is unprecedented since World War II and it will enable Republicans to avoid a politically and economically damaging fight without having to endorse a higher debt limit.
On May 19, the debt limit will automatically be set to a higher limit that matches the additional borrowing the Treasury will have to do between now and then.
With this deadline out of the way, Congress will still need to focus on a March 1 deadline that automatically enacts the fiscal cliff spending cuts and a possible government shutdown on March 27.
Missing either of those deadlines
would be economically harmful but neither would cause the damage of a US default.