A proposal by house republicans to extend the debt ceiling by 6 weeks has been rejected by President Barack Obama. Despite the setback, commentators say the agreement still represented a major breakthrough for house republicans, with members dead-locked between taking a hard-line or conservative approach. It also represented the first step away from brinkmanship towards a consensus between the parties in disagreement. Yesterday, Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew faced a senate committee, reiterating that there was no alternative to raising the debt ceiling to avoid default. He said There is no plan other than raising the debt limit, the legal issues, even regarding interest and principal on the debt, are complicated. (VIEW LINK)