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White House may be open to short-term debt hike; aide says longer term better for economy

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WASHINGTON - A senior Obama economic adviser is suggesting that the White House would be open to a short-term increase in the nation's borrowing authority. But the adviser, National Economic Council Director Gene Sperling, says a long-term extension of the debt limit would be better for the economy.

Sperling says the size of the increase is up to Congress. Asked if a two- or three-week extension would be out of the question for the White House, Sperling said, quote, "Longer is better for economic certainty and jobs, but it is ultimately up to them."

Sperling spoke at a breakfast Monday sponsored by Politico.

Sperling reiterated President Barack Obama's vow not to negotiate on the debt because it would sanction the threat of default as a bargaining chip and increase the chance of default in the future.

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