Coats blasts Senate for avoiding debt-ceiling issue

"We have been stuck on the SBA bill for several weeks and only injected here and there some talk and debate about the deficit, but with no real focus on that," said Coats. "There has not been nearly enough debate and dialogue on how we should address this."

The U.S. government officially hit the federal debt limit Monday, forcing the Treasury Department to take steps to avoid a default. Some action must be taken by Aug. 2 to prevent what the administration has characterized as an economic disaster.

Coats concluded by urging Senate leadership to turn the full focus of the upper chamber toward making a decision on how the government will deal with its debt. 

"We have to act now, not later," said Coats. "This is not something we can postpone. ... I urge leadership to suspend all but the essential in what we are doing to bring about a debate and a decision as to how we are going to go forward."