The White House said that President Barack Obama would not block a Republican plan to extend government borrowing authority by three months but would prefer a longer term debt ceiling hike.
Defusing a showdown with Obama, Republican House leaders are ready to permit the government to borrow more money to meet its obligations until May 18, despite earlier demands that debt ceiling hikes be matched by spending cuts.
The move would effectively remove the debt ceiling question from a looming conflagration with Republicans on Capitol Hill over spending cuts due to come into force at the end of next month and a soon-to-expire government budget.
White House spokesman Jay Carney noted that the debt ceiling work around still had to make it past opposition from some conservative Republican members of Congress.
"If it does and it reaches the president's desk he would not stand in the way of the bill becoming law," he said, but added that Obama did not believe it was good for the economy in general to raise the debt ceiling in "increments."
"He believes we ought to do this for longer periods of time," Carney said, adding that Congress should give Obama authority to raise the debt limit on his own if it was not up for the job.
"Having said that, what we saw happen last week was significant in our view. The House Republicans made a decision to back away from the kind of brinkmanship that was very concerning to the markets, very concerning to business, very concerning to the American people."
"So the fact that the House Republicans have made this decision is certainly something that we welcome."
The government hit its statutory $US16 trillion debt limit last year but the administration has used extraordinary measures to postpone the devastating economic shockwaves that would result from defaulting on its obligations until late February or early March.
The House bill would withhold salaries of members of Congress if the chamber or the Senate does not pass a fiscal 2014 budget by April 15.
The Democratic-held Senate has not voted on a budget since 2009, and the federal government is being funded through temporary resolutions every six months.
Democratic leaders have said they would introduce a budget plan in the coming months, and pledged to consider the debt limit suspension should it pass the House.