Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives struggled on Friday to reach consensus on a strategy for lifting the federal debt limit but decided what they don’t want – a “clean” increase and a default crisis, a senior Republican lawmaker said.

Representative Tom Cole, a close ally of House Speaker John Boehner, said that House Republicans still had not settled the conditions they would attach to any increase, and were “working through” their strategy.

“There’s a recognition that the debt ceiling is going to be raised, and that’s critical for the financial markets and the financial system. But while we work with the president on that, what can we get that’s common ground?” Cole told Reuters in an interview after a three-day House Republican retreat in Cambridge, Maryland.