White House hails debt-ceiling vote as 'welcome development'

But Carney said that "ideally we would extend, raise the debt ceiling for a long period of time" and that the president hopes for a deal to avoid future battles over the debt ceiling.

"The president believes we need to as a country do the responsible thing, and without drama or delay pay our bills and meet our commitments," Carney said.

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Carney applauded the willingness of House Republicans to suspend the debt ceiling as a "fundamental change" from a political strategy by which the GOP demanded spending cuts to offset any increase in the federal debt limit.

The House bill passed 285-144, and would suspend the debt limit until May 18. At that point, the debt ceiling would revert to its current $16.394 trillion level, plus whatever the Treasury Department borrowed during the interim.

The legislation is designed to give congressional negotiators time to strike a larger deal on a longer extension of the debt ceiling, along with a broader deal to reduce federal deficits.

The plan has been endorsed by the White House and Senate Democrats. The bill is likely to pass the Senate.

House Republicans have rallied around the deal, which includes provisions that would delay the payment of congressional salaries if the Senate fails to pass a budget.

“I thank Speaker [John] Boehner [R-Ohio] on his leadership of diffusing a fight over the debt ceiling debate,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) told reporters Wednesday.

During a floor speech Wednesday, Boehner also called for the eventual debt deal to balance the federal deficit within the next 10 years.

"My goodness, we ought to be able to balance the budget in the next 10 years," Boehner said. "It also means that we strengthen programs like Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid that can’t continue to exist in their current form without some kind of controls."