The U.S. debt ceiling deadline lies just a few weeks away, raising the prospect of the nation defaulting on loans, seeing its credit rating downgraded and being plunged into a recession.
And there's no sign U.S. President Barack Obama or congressional Republicans are ready to budge on their positions on what to do about the debt ceiling.
President Obama once again made his case for raising the debt ceiling during a White House press conference today (Monday) and faulted Republicans for what he portrayed as a misguided position.
"They will not collect a ransom in exchange for not crashing the American economy," President Obama said. "The full faith and credit of the United States of America is not a bargaining chip."
If the GOP lawmakers refuse to increase the U.S. debt ceiling - they're holding out for dollar-for-dollar spending cuts - the president said markets could "go haywire," government payments including Social Security and military personnel checks would be delayed and the economy would slide into recession.
"It would be a self-inflicted wound on the economy," President Obama said. "It would slow down our growth and tip us into recession. To even entertain the idea of this happening is irresponsible. It's absurd."