Pawlenty opposes raising federal debt ceiling

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, a potential GOP presidential candidate in 2012, says he opposes raising the nation’s debt ceiling and is urging Republicans in Congress to do the same.

Pawlenty says lawmakers should take action that prevents the government from defaulting on its obligations, then have a debate over what spending should be reduced.

The debt ceiling is the legal limit at which the federal government can borrow money. At present, that credit limit is $14.3 trillion.

Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner says he expects that ceiling to be reached no later than May and perhaps even as early as late March. Geithner and other officials warn that not raising the debt ceiling could lead to an economic disaster for the U.S.

Pawlenty spoke on “Fox News Sunday.”