WASHINGTON — The White House is considering trying to negotiate a short-term extension of the debt ceiling to allow more time to approve a larger increase, according to five sources familiar with the matter, an endorsement with three weeks until the current deadline in June. .

The White House has not backed an extension any time soon, but officials are well aware of the growing risk to markets, businesses and consumers as June 1 approaches, the earliest the Treasury says it is possible. that he can no longer pay the nation’s taxes. bills. The Biden administration’s preference remains a long-term deal, but advisers are discussing a variety of alternative options, including invoking the 14th Amendment, to avoid economic catastrophe if a resolution remains out of reach by the end of the month. .

«I’m sure one of the things on the table that we’re going to have to work on is how long» to raise the debt limit, Shalanda Young, director of the Office of Management and Budget, said Thursday when asked about the possibility of agreement. to increase the debt limit until September. «I’m not going to take anything off the table.»

An extension until the fall would provide several months for the parties to negotiate a more comprehensive spending deal, two sources familiar with the matter said, and could coincide with a September 30 deadline to agree on next year’s government funding. According to the US Chamber of Commerce, a short-term extension of the debt ceiling has been enacted six times since 1993 to buy time for a broader package to take shape.

“The White House is not necessarily pushing for a deal anytime soon, but they don’t need more drama and uncertainty in the economy,” said one of the sources, a private sector executive in regular contact with the administration. who spoke on condition of anonymity to provide details on internal discussions. “The economy right now is on the edge.”

Despite strong hiring, the US economy grew just 1.1 percent in the first quarter of 2023, leading analysts to suggest that a debt ceiling debacle on top of recent The Federal Reserve’s interest rate hikes could trigger a recession, however mild.

The White House Council of Economic Advisers, President Joe Biden’s in-house economic forecasters, released research this week showing the economy would contract 0.3% if the debt ceiling debate goes to the deadline. . Two consecutive quarters of negative economic growth is considered a recession, as determined by the National Bureau of Economic Research.

For now, the White House remains publicly committed to its position of pushing for a long-term solution and remains open to a two-track process to negotiate separate spending from the debt ceiling.

“This is not our plan,” a White House spokesman said of a short-term extension. “We are focused on eliminating the threat of default that will erase our economic progress. As the president has made clear, default is non-negotiable.»

Moderate Democrats in Congress have signaled their willingness to vote for an extension at short notice, making it an option a deeply divided legislature could approve. Still, both Republican and Democratic sources acknowledge that DC works best on deadlines and that a short-term extension probably isn’t helpful unless negotiations between the White House and Congress are more productive.

Any extension would also need Republicans in the Senate, where some have also rejected the idea.

But the party hasn’t unilaterally opposed a further extension if Republicans get something in return. Rep. Dusty Johnson, a close ally of Speaker Kevin McCarthy and chair of the moderate Main Street Caucus, pointed to the House-passed bill that included a series of Republican requests to cut spending.

«I think if the White House understands how important it is for us to do things like recover uncommitted Covid funds, not spend $500 billion on unconstitutional student loan forgiveness, start unlocking American energy,» Johnson told NBC News, «I think they’re going to find Republicans receptive if the White House understands our values.»

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