"The strength of the American dollar as a world currency is grounded on the unconditional guarantee by the United States to pay its debts," said Democratic Senator Dick Durbin.
"A default on that commitment, a near default, a threat of default, no matter how short, would be a first in the history of the United States."
From Tokyo to Toronto, governments of all sizes are facing tough budget choices. The U.S. is no exception and this week President Obama proposed a multi-trillion-dollar budget that lawmakers will probably fight over for months.
The problem is that Washington faces a bigger budget decision much sooner. Read more