After yet another meeting with lawmakers over raising the borrowing limit of the United States, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner faced the television cameras with a stern warning: "We don't have much time."
"We've looked at all available options, and we have no way to give Congress more time to solve this problem, and we're running out of time," Geithner said today after meeting with Senate Democrats on Capitol Hill.
President Obama is engaged in intense negotiations with bipartisan congressional leaders over raising the debt ceiling -- the amount of money the U.S. government is technically allowed to borrow. As part of a deal to raise the debt ceiling, all leaders involved are interested in passing a deficit reduction plan, but talks have remained stalled over the parameters of the deal.
Mr. Obama, Geithner and others have warned that the nation could default on its loans or face other "catastrophic" consequences if the debt ceiling isn't raised by Aug. 2.
"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," Geithner said today, "and also take advantage of this opportunity to make some progress in dealing with our long term fiscal problems."
The Treasury secretary added that there was "unanimity" among Senate Democrats that the U.S. would do what's necessary to meet its financial obligations.