The Treasury Department is issuing a warning of dire economic consequences that could rival the Great Recession if Congress is unable to agree on raising the debt ceiling and the nation defaults on its obligations.
Treasury Secretary Jack Lew says the debt ceiling needs to be raised, but without another economically damaging partisan fight.
In a series of interviews on the Sunday morning political talk shows, Lew said Congress needs to lift the "cloud of uncertainty" over the nation's finances and raise the limit before it fully expires on Sept. 30.
"The fight over the debt limit in 2011 hurt the economy, even though, in the end, we saw an extension of the debt limit," the secretary said on NBC's Meet The Press.
The liberal watchdog group Center for Media and Democracy says Fix the Debt — a key unit in philanthropist Pete Peterson's corps of organizations to battle the national debt — is a pro-business effort masquerading as a grassroots movement.
In a conference call with reporters Friday, CMD director Lisa Graves called Fix the Debt "an Astroturf supergroup that is exceedingly well funded." The term "Astroturf" refers to groups that appear to be citizen-organized but actually have their roots at consultants' offices inside the Capital Beltway.