Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is calling on Republican lawmakers to support raising the national debt ceiling.
The U.S. hit the $14.3 trillion borrowing limit in May. But members of the GOP say the government shouldn't borrow any more money without big budget cuts in exchange.
Bernanke said that while budget cuts are necessary, lawmakers should not risk the U.S. defaulting on its debts.
"History makes clear that failure to put our fiscal house in order will erode the vitality of our economy, reduce the standard of living in the United States, and increase the risk of economic and financial instability," the Fed chief said at a meeting on the deficit, Tuesday.
The meeting was hosted by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget and the New America Foundation.
"I fully understand the desire to use the debt limit deadline to force some necessary and difficult fiscal policy adjustments, but the debt limit is the wrong tool for that important job," Bernanke added.
Congress has until Aug. 2 to raise the debt ceiling.