Deadline looming for raising the debt ceiling

For five straights days now, political leaders in Washington have been unable to reach a deal to avoid a government default.

With the deadline looming for raising the debt ceiling, the talks sounds more divided than united.

All across Capitol Hill Thursday, there were warnings that a default would hurt the country.

“I think it would be a calamitous outcome,” said Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.

And warnings a default would hurt you.

“The spike in interest rates and damage to the U.S. dollar alone would cost the American family more than $1500 immediately,” said Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid.

Leaders met for about 80 minutes Thursday, their fifth straight day of talks.  But, all that time in the same room hasn't put them on the same page.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell says President Obama “really gave us three bad choices: higher taxes, smoke and mirrors, or default.”

Democrats say Republican Eric Cantor is holding things up, calling for a short-term extension of the debt ceiling, which President Obama vows to veto.

“There's one person who hasn't made any concessions of the eight or nine people in the room, and that is Majority Leader Cantor,” said Sen. Charles Schumer.

“Any suggestion Eric has been less than helpful in these meetings is just wrong,” countered House Speaker Rep. John Boehner.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is stressing the urgency of the situation.

“The eyes of the country are on us, and the eyes of the world are on us, and we need to make sure we stand together and send a definitive signal that we're going to take the steps necessary to avoid default, and we don't have much time,” said Geithner.  “It's time we move.”

The White House now says if there's no movement by Friday towards significant deficit reduction, the focus will shift to raising the debt ceiling.

Right now, the debt ceiling is at $14.2 trillion.

If it isn't raised by August 2nd, the treasury won't be able to pay all of its bills, and that could trigger a partial default.

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