Building U.S. economy 'only easy way out' of debt problem -CIO

STORY: "We've got shortages in virtually every area of the labor market," Pagliara explained.

"We have to build this economy to grow," he added. "That is the only easy way out of this [debt] problem."

Republicans who control the U.S. House of Representatives are divided over how hard a line to take on the debt ceiling, but were united on Wednesday (Jan. 25) in demanding that Democratic President Joe Biden agree to negotiate on spending as part of any deal.

Hard-line Republican conservatives, who have the power to block any deal in the narrowly divided House, want to force deep spending cuts on Biden and the Democratic-led Senate in exchange for an agreement to avoid default on the $31.4 trillion debt.

Some moderates want to tread more carefully and avoid any potential damage to the U.S. economy, but even they contend their party will not support a debt agreement without negotiations on spending.