There's a glimmer of hope still alive that Washington could be on its way to solving the debt crisis.
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, is expected to call a vote Thursday on his bill to cut spending and raise the debt ceiling.
The move comes after a tough closed-door meeting with Republican lawmakers on Wednesday. The speaker reportedly laid down the law, telling them he can't get the job done unless they're behind him.
The tough talk appears to have proved effective.
"I've moved from leaning 'no' to 'undecided' to lean 'yes.' It's just a matter of we've got to take what we can get," Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, said.
"I'm a conservative," Rep. Allen West, R-Fla., said. "And you guys say I'm a pretty hard line conservative. And as I said I'm going to support this."
CBN News Capitol Hill Correspondent John Jessup offers insight on the plans being tossed around to raise the debt limit. Watch below.
The tension in the Republican Party right now is clear.
"Armageddon happens at midnight Aug. 3 is not simply the case. It's not true," Rep. Bill Huizenga, R-Mich., said.
"It's unfair. It's bizzaro. And maybe some people who have only been in this body for six or seven months or so really believe that. Others know better," Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. said.
But a very healthy fear that the U.S. credit rating will take a hit is helping to motivate lawmakers.
A top official with Standard & Poor's warned Wednesday that the country's rating could be lowered if it doesn't come up with a plan to tackle America's ballooning national debt.
"There has to be a credible plan to reduce the debt burden, reduce the deficit level," S&P President Deven Sharma said.
Meanwhile, President Obama has been taking heat for not coming up with a plan of his own. But that hasn't stopped him from threatening to veto Boehner's plan.
The speaker's proposal would raise the debt ceiling through 2012, but the president wants it raised through 2013 to avoid a bitter fight right before elections.
Still, both sides are also fully aware that Wall Street is becoming anxious. On Wednesday, the Dow Jones industrial average dropped nearly 200 points and appeared headed for its worst week in nearly a year.
"This is tough medicine to hear, but you probably shouldn't have money in the stock market that you can't afford to lose more than 10 percent," The Motely Pool's Joe Magyer warned.
Many analysts think the odds of a U.S. default are slim. Their real concern is that the nation will lose its AAA credit rating.
A downgraded rating could lead to higher interest rates on all kinds of loans.