WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama is asking Congress for another $1.2 trillion increase in the nation's debt limit.
The request is largely a formality. It's the third and final request the president is allowed under a deal the White House and lawmakers reached in August to prevent a government default.
But Republicans are likely to use the election-year request as an opportunity to criticize the president's spending policies.
Congress has 15 days to reject the president's request. The White House says Obama would veto any objections in order to avoid a default.
Obama originally planned to make this request in late December. But with Congress on vacation until mid-January, lawmakers asked Obama to delay his request so they could vote on the matter when they return.