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Austin Watches Clock Tick Down on Debt Ceiling Deadline

Time is running out for the debt ceiling debate, and Austinites are watching.  KUT freelancer Jeff Heimsath produced this video to constrast local opinions with those of a University of Texas economist. 

Here's the issue: there's a legal cap on how much money the United States is allowed to borrow.

Right now it's $14.3 trillion, which the government says it will exceed by early August. To prevent this, the United States either needs to cut spending drastically or raise that ceiling. Otherwise, it means the U.S. will default on its loans. That could mean people on social security won't see their checks and federal government employees could have to take furloughs. Congress has raised the debt ceiling ten times in the last decade.

President Obama held another town hall meeting at the University of Maryland today. House Speaker John Boehner is hoping to have a House vote by Wednesday. If that happens, Congress will be on track to not default by the August 2 deadline.

Jeff Heimsath is a freelance photographer who works for KUT.
Kelsey Sheridan is a news intern at KUT. She currently studies religion and journalism at Northwestern University.