WASHINGTON -- Within a matter of weeks, America will hit its $14 trillion borrowing limit as set by the U.S. Congress. The top Republican lawmakers have challenged the White House to "step up to the plate" and tackle the nation's debt.
"I don't think the American people will tolerate increasing the debt limit without serious reductions in spending and changes to the budget process so that we can make sure that this never happens again," House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said.
The U.S. Senate's Republican leader also says the president should be bolder about tackling the national debt.
"We have two opportunities, both the continuing resolution and the debt ceiling, to try to accomplish something on a bipartisan basis on both our short-term debt and our long-term unfunded liability," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday.
"The president ought to step up to the plate with us and tackle it together," he added.
While the GOP has called for government spending cuts, the Obama administration is promoting even more spending to help the struggling economy and make the country more competitive.
"That's how America will win the future - by out-innovating, out-educating, and outbuilding our competitors," President Obama said in his weekly address.
Some fear the political fight about getting the nation's fiscal house in order could lead to a government shutdown and a possible global financial meltdown.
Boehner says that won't happen, but pledges deep spending cuts as a tradeoff to raising the debt ceiling.
The House speaker said there's no limit on how much Republicans are willing to cut, and he urged the president to work with Republicans to address the government's spending problem.