The federal government hit its debt limit at the end of last year. Since then, the Treasury Department has been taking what it calls "extraordinary measures" to keep the government funded and avoid defaulting on U.S. obligations.
But those measures will run out sometime between the middle of February and early March. Then it's up to Congress to raise the debt limit.
House Republicans are wrestling with the best strategy at a retreat Thursday and Friday in Virginia. And some have been denying that there is a risk of default if the debt ceiling isn't raised.
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President Obama says he's done what he could on his own. Yesterday he signed 23 executive orders related to gun control. They will allow federal agencies to strengthen the existing background check system and improve the tracking of stolen guns. The big ticket items, like universal background checks and a ban on assault weapons and high capacity clips, will need congressional action.
President Obama at the White House today, with Vice President Biden in the background.
Credit Mandel Ngan / AFP/Getty Images
At a White House event with children who wrote him letters after the Dec. 14 school shooting in Newtown, Conn., President Obama today said the nation cannot wait any longer to do what can be done to reduce gun violence.