Wrangling continues over debt ceiling, budget

Wednesday - 7/13/2011, 10:31am EDT

Alexander Bolton, staff writer, The Hill

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The rhetoric is heating up but the time is winding down on lawmakers and the White House to reach a debt ceiling deal. Alexander Bolton is a staff writer for The Hill newspaper. He joined the Federal Drive with more on the increasingly nasty tug-of-war over the federal budget.

"Lawmakers, policy makers and economists across the board just about agree that a national default would be a major problem," Bolton said. "It would cause interest rates to rise, it would make mortgages more expensive, auto loans more expensive, students loans and credit payments more expensive. And it would put the stock market into a tailspin."

August 2 is the official day the U.S. would default, as set by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.

Another consequent problem is the concept of cross-defaulting. "If you stop making some of your payments to make others, are you in default, at least from the vantage point of the credit agency?" Bolton said. "That's something that's an unknown."

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