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House Republicans seek $1 trillion debt limit hike

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republicans in the House of Representatives will push legislation to cut $1.2 trillion in spending over 10 years and provide a short-term, $1 trillion increase in the government's borrowing limit, a Republican aide said on Monday.

House Speaker John Boehner, who is crafting the legislation, also wants to trigger automatic deficit-reduction cuts if spending exceeds caps created by the legislation, the aide said.

President Barack Obama, a Democrat, has said he is opposed to a short-term debt limit increase and instead wants about $2.4 trillion in new borrowing authority, which would extend through 2012.

The Boehner plan, like a competing one being written by Senate Democrats, would not contain any tax hikes in the drive to reduce federal budget deficits that have been hovering around $1.4 trillion a year.

But the Republican plan is slightly more ambitious in trying to nail down over the next several months an additional $1.8 trillion in savings beyond the initial installment of $1.2 trillion. The Democratic plan envisions $2.7 trillion in total savings.

Both plans might not pass muster with credit ratings agencies, which want firmer commitments from Congress for about $4 trillion in long-term savings.

(Reporting by Andy Sullivan and Richard Cowan)