Obama Requests a $1.2 Trillion Debt Ceiling Increase

President Obama has officially requested an increase to the statutory debt limit.

The formal request gives both chambers 15 days to vote on whether to approve of the $1.2 trillion hike. The House plans to vote on this request on Jan. 18, a spokeswoman for House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said.

In a letter to House and Senate leaders sent Thursday, the president informed the Congress that the federal government had come within $100 billion of the existing limit and that another increase is “required to meet existing commitments.” The boost will be the third and final increase to the ceiling under the debt-limit deal struck in August, and is intended to cover the government’s borrowing through the 2012 elections.

The United States reached the $15.194 trillion debt limit on Jan. 4, according to Treasury statements. Since that time, Treasury has employed the “extraordinary measure” of tapping into its Exchange Stabilization Fund to avoid exceeding the limit.

Read more at The Hill.