WASHINGTON (AP) -- The top White House economic adviser is warning against what he calls "playing chicken" with the need to raise the nation's debt ceiling, but Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota is asking people to sign an online petition to urge their representatives not to increase the debt limit.
For some conservatives, refusing to raise the limit on the federal debt would be a tactic to force the government into cutting spending.
Last February, Congress raised the debt ceiling to $14.3 trillion. The debt is now at nearly $13.9 trillion and growing daily. A move to raise the ceiling again is expected this spring.
The chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, Austan Goolsbee, says the impact on the economy of refusing to raise the ceiling would be "catastrophic."
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