For the past few weeks, we've been talking about what's at stake if we plunge off the fiscal cliff, but it looks more and more like America is about to hit its head on the debt ceiling.
President Obama has said that there will be no negotiating over the debt limit and that Republicans must agree to a debt limit increase. But Republican lawmakers don't want to give up the leverage they have, particularly while losing the battle over higher taxes on the wealthy.
If Washington can't reach a compromise over the debt ceiling by mid-February or early-March, things are going to look an awful lot like they did in 2011 when the country was on the brink of default.
Todd Zwilich is The Takeaway's Washington correspondent.