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Paul Ryan says U.S. facing debt crisis like other countries

UPDATED 9:36 a.m. ET

Powerful House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan on Tuesday said the United States is facing a debt crisis comparable to other countries and officials in Washington need to get in front of it before it spirals out of control.

"We have a debt crisis coming. It's hitting not just our country but countries around the world. We want to get ahead of it," Ryan said on CBS' "The Early Show."

The Wisconsin Republican did not mention any specific country, but European policymakers are struggling to stop the bleeding in Greece as they worry about Italy being the next country to face an imminent debt crisis.

Ryan has offered up a controversial proposal to overhaul Medicare in order to make it less expensive for the government to run and more sustainable for taxpayers in the long-run.

Ryan is convening the House Budget Committee later Tuesday for a hearing to discuss Medicare and its impact on the federal budget.

President Obama and other lawmakers on Capitol Hill are set to meet again Tuesday to discuss ways to reduce the deficit as an August 2 deadline for Congress to raise the legal limit on what it can borrow approaches.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and many economists have warned of economic catastrophe if the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling is not raised before the deadline.

Former White House economic advisor Lawrence Summers said he thinks Republicans and Democrats will ultimately come to some sort of agreement on the debt ceiling, though it could go to the last minute.

"Winston Churchill said something wise about the United States. He said we always do the right thing. But only after exhausting the alternatives. So it may come to the wire but I think we will see a deal," Summers said on CBS' "The Early Show."

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