WASHINGTON - There is still no clear path out of the political gridlock as the debt clock ticks and the pressure mounts on the nation's leaders to get the job done.
Republicans have been forced to reconsider their opposition to the plan put forward by House Speaker John Boehner, a proposal that had to be reworked after falling short of promised savings.
"Cut, cap, and balance, that was the touchdown pass, unfortunately, it was batted down by the Senate," Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, said.
"Now we're going to go for the five-yard running play and get the first down," he said.
CBN News chief political correspondent offered more insight on the ongoing debt debate, on CBN Newswatch, July 27. Watch his comments, following this report.
But Senate leaders insist that plan is dead on arrival if it passes the House. The problem isn't just the lack of support from Democrats. The speaker's plan hasn't won over Republicans who think it doesn't go far enough.
Meanwhile, protesters rallied outside Capitol Hill Wednesday, ahead of the next debt ceiling votes.
The people have a message they want Republicans to hear loud and clear -- hold the line on fiscally conservative values.
Stephen Latchford, along with his wife and son on vacation, decided to drop in on their way back home to Tampa. Fla.
"We're down in Florida where the housing market is in the tank. Unemployment is very high," he explained. "And, we're seeing more desire to tax and spend, and it's like they're not getting it here."
Those at the rally support the "cut, cap, and balance" agenda that passed the House last week. They believe Washington needs to tackle out-of-control spending to solve its debt problem once and for all.
"We don't need to revisit this every few months or every few years. We need to solve the problem and if we don't solve it soon, immediately, now we are not going to have the opportunity to solve it," one woman said at the Tea Party rally.
GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain said the current fiscal crisis and the potential downgrading of the U.S. credit rating is the result of Washington's lack of leadership and reckless behavior.
"The Congress is guilty of playing with fire. The president is guilty of playing with fire," Cain said.
"The American people, they are not playing with this fire," he said. "The American people have been saying for months -- years -- you gotta stop the spending and don't raise taxes."
"If these people up here do not stick to the fiscally conservative principles and values of this movement, then they will be voted out just as fast as they were voted in," Tea Party Express's Amy Kremer said.
The strong opposition among conservatives shows just how difficult it is to navigate a way out of the impasse, with less than a week to go before the federal government is literally strapped for cash.