Negotiations on the federal debt ceiling have started kicking into high gear in recent days with the August 2 deadline to raise the U.S. borrowing limit pressing upon us. The financial markets, global leaders - and the pundits - are parsing every word of the debate that involves trillions of dollars.
On Monday, President Barack Obama ruled out any chance of signing a short-term extension of the debt ceiling. He insisted now's the time to tackle the nation's most pressing fiscal problems comprehensively. He wants bipartisan compromise on both taxes and cuts to entitlement programs. His push for the largest deal possible is an apparent rejection of a call by House Speaker John Boehner to focus more narrowly on spending cuts agreed to in an earlier round of negotiations.
CNN's team of commentators and newscasters has weighed in on how the negotiations are going, how President Barack Obama is performing and the historical significance of this debate:
"It's hard to remember a simmering crisis when America's political leaders have painted themselves into so many corners, but that's where we are as we face a potential default on our national debt. As leaders return to bargaining Monday afternoon, they had better find their way out soon, or we will pay a fearful price. ...