WASHINGTON - (AP) - Republican leaders in the House ofRepresentatives, facing a conservative revolt, abandoned a voteThursday night on a bill to increase the government's debt limit,cut federal spending and avoid a potential U.S. default.
Republican leaders in the lower chamber announced their decisionafter abruptly halting debate on the legislation and plunging intoan intensive round of meetings with rebellious conservatives.
The decision created fresh turmoil as a divided U.S. governmentstruggled to head off a default threatened after next Tuesday thatwould leave the Treasury without the funds needed to pay all itsbills.
House Speaker John Boehner and other Republican leaders hadlabored furiously to line up the 216 votes the debt bill would needto pass the House. Enough conservative Republicans, initiallyopposed to the Boehner bill, had been thought to have agreed toback the measure earlier Thursday.
After hours of routine debate, the Republican leadership sentword that further work would be put off on the bill to raise thenation's debt limit by Tuesday to allow the government to keepborrowing and pay its bills.
Few if any Democrats had been expected to support the measure,which faces near-certain defeat in the Democratic-run Senate.President Barack Obama vowed to veto the measure should it reachhis desk because it would bring the controversial debt issue upagain in the middle of next year's election season.