The debate over raising the debt limit has escalated into a flash point for partisan-soaked bickering over a lot more - including government spending tax loopholes and entitlements. While party leaders reassure Americans the debt ceiling will be raised, no viable compromise looms on the horizon, and the clock continues to tick to what some say could be an economic Armageddon on August 2.
Through interviews, press conferences and statements, leaders on both sides of the aisle have sought to make the case in any way possible. The following slides are a rundown of the best jabs and counter-punches from Washington from the past several weeks as the debate continues.
"That is no way to run the greatest country on Earth. It is a dangerous
game we've never played before, and we can't afford to play it now. Not
when the jobs and livelihoods of so many families are at stake. We can't
allow the American people to become collateral damage to Washington's
- President Obama, July 25
"The president has often said we need a 'balanced' approach, which in
Washington means 'we spend more, you pay more'... The sad truth is that
the president wanted a blank check six months ago, and he wants a blank
check today. That is just not going to happen."
- House Speaker John Boehner, July 25
Credit: AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite
"Democrats continue to insist that any deal must include tax increases. There is not support in the House for a tax increase."
- House Majority Leader, R-Va., June 23, 2011
Credit: Win McNamee/Getty Images
"Failure is not an option. The question is how good a deal it's going to be."
- Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, July 10, 2011, in an interview with Bob Schieffer on "Face the Nation
"Watch the interview
Credit: CBS/Chris Usher
"I have little question that as long as this president is in
the Oval Office, a real solution is unattainable... The president has
presented us with three choices: smoke and mirrors, tax hikes, or
default. Republicans choose none of the above."
- Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, July 12, 2011
Credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images
"The White House moved the goalpost. There was an agreement, some
additional revenues, until yesterday when the president demanded $400
billion more which was going to be nothing more than a tax increase on
the American people. And I can tell you that Leader Cantor and I were
very disappointed in this call for higher revenue."
- House Speaker John Boehner, July 22
Credit: AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster
"It's not going to get easier. It's going to get harder. So we might as well do it now - pull off the Band-Aid; eat our peas."
- President Obama, July 11, 2011
Credit: NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images
"Dealing with them, the last couple months, has been like dealing with Jell-O. Some days it is firmer than others. Sometimes it's like they've left it out over night."
- House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, July 14, 2011
Credit: Getty Images
"House Democrats are not supporting any cuts in benefits for Social Security or Medicare... Do not consider Social Security a piggy bank for giving tax cuts to the wealthiest people in our country."
- House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, July 7, 2011
Credit: Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images
A default "would be a calamitous outcome. It would create a very severe financial shock that would have effects not only on the U.S. economy but on the global economy."
- Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, July 14, 2011
Credit: AP Photo/Evan Vucci
"The American people expect action... And the American people, I think, are fed up with political posturing and an inability for politicians to take responsible action."
President Obama, July 22
Credit: AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta
"We want to close down some of the rotten subsidies that are going on-whether they're for oil companies, or thoroughbred horses, or corporate jets, or ways for companies to move jobs overseas with the help of the tax code-it's time to put an end to that stuff."
- Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., June 30, 2011
Credit: Win McNamee/Getty Images
"I cannot guarantee that [Social Security] checks go out on August 3rd if we haven't resolved this issue. Because there may simply not be the money in the coffers to do it."
- President Obama, July 12, 2011, in an interview with CBS News anchor Scott PelleyWatch the interview
Credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images
"Currently there is not a single debt limit proposal that can pass the House of Representatives."
- House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., July 13, 2011
Credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images