Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Monday that lawmakers would have to be “out of our minds” not to raise the nation's borrowing limit.
Not lifting the $14.3 trillion ceiling, which the U.S. hit on Monday, would lead to a “financial crisis” that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said would be worse than the 2008 recession and a “disaster” as described by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, Reid contended.
He said lifting the ceiling was unsavory, but necessary.
"It may not be ideal but we have to make a choice," said Reid. "We cannot cut off on our ability to pay our debts. Raising the debt limit is about paying the debt we already owe.
"We are going to have to make up our minds and do it sooner rather than later," said Reid.
The U.S. government officially hit the federal debt limit Monday, forcing the Treasury Department to take steps to avoid a default, which will occur if the ceiling is not raised by Aug. 2.
Geithner has warned since last year that not raising the debt ceiling would be "catastrophic" for the U.S. economy; White House spokesman Jay Carney said it would be “Armageddon-like.” If the limit is not raised, the United States could be at risk of defaulting on its debt.