Warner: Don't play 'Russian roulette' on debt limit

Earlier this month, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner warned of "catastrophic economic consequences" if the $14.3 trillion debt limit was not raised by this spring. However, House GOP leaders want to extract promises to cut government spending in exchange for their support, while House Democrats have indicated the responsibility for approving an increase belongs to the GOP now that they are the new majority.

Warner also called for Congress to get serious about reducing the deficit. He and Sen. Saxby ChamblissClarence (Saxby) Saxby ChamblissThe Hill's Morning Report - Gillibrand drops out as number of debaters shrinks Hoekstra emerges as favorite for top intelligence post Republicans say Democrats holding up disaster relief as 'Sandy payback' MORE (R-Ga.) plan to introduce a bill this Congress based on the report from President Obama's deficit commission.

"It's put up or shut up time," he said. "The single largest long-term threat to our economy...[is] getting the nation's balance sheet in order.

"I think the country's read to step up and it's time for the politicians to follow," he added.

The debt commission's report received bipartisan support from 11 of the panel's members, ranging from Sen. Tom CoburnThomas (Tom) Allen CoburnThe Hill's Morning Report — Presented by PhRMA — Worries grow about political violence as midterms approach President Trump’s war on federal waste American patients face too many hurdles in regard to health-care access MORE (R-Okla.) on the right to Sen. Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinSenators take fundraising efforts to Nats playoff games Overnight Health Care: Watchdog finds DEA allowed more opioids even as overdose deaths rose | Judge temporarily blocks Georgia abortion law | Three states report more vaping deaths | Dem proposes new fix for surprise medical bills During impeachment storm, senators cross aisle to lessen mass incarceration MORE (D-Ill.) on the left. The recommendations ultimately failed to advance to a vote in Congress because 14 votes were needed for formal commission backing.

Warner took politicians to task Thursday for failing to make hard choices to get the deficit under control.

"At the end of the day, it's easy for politicians to give tax breaks," he said.

But he also challenged the business community to be willing to make some sacrifices in the comprehensive effort to rein in the federal deficit.

"We won't get this done unless the business community is saying, 'We're in for our share of the hard choices as well,'" he said.