WASHINGTON, D.C. (WIVT/WBGH) – A FINANCIAL FIGHT IS BREWING IN WASHINGTON WITH THE U.S. JUST DAYS AWAY FROM HITTING THE DEBT CEILING.

WHEN THAT HAPPENS THERE IS LIKELY TO BE A SHOWDOWN IN CONGRESS OVER HOW TO RAISE THE COUNTRY’S DEBT LIMIT.

HANNAH BRANDT IS IN WASHINGTON TO BREAKDOWN WHAT TO EXPECT.

{Rep. Steve Scalise, (R) Louisiana} “America over time, occasionally hits the debt ceiling because it’s like a credit card limit.”

ONCE THAT HAPPENS, THE CLOCK STARTS TICKING FOR LAWMAKERS TO RAISE THE DEBT CEILING… OR PUT THE COUNTRY AT RISK OF DEFAULTING.

CONGRESSMAN BRENDAN BOYLE WARNS THAT COULD SPARK A GLOBAL FINANCIAL MELTDOWN.

{Rep. Brendan Boyle, (D) Pennsylvania} “The debt ceiling should not ever be something we play around with. It is too dangerous.”

BUT MANY REPUBLICANS ARGUE IT ISN’T FISCALLY SMART OR SUSTAINABLE TO JUST KEEP RAISING THE LIMIT.

HOUSE SPEAKER KEVIN MCCARTHY INSISTS THE COUNTRY NEEDS A BETTER SPENDING PLAN.

{Rep. Kevin McCarthy, (R) California} “When does it end? We’ve got to change the way we are spending money wastefully in this country.

STANDUP REPUBLICAN’S CONTROL OF THE HOUSE GIVES THEM MORE POWER IN THE NEGOTIATIONS.

AND THEY SAY THEY’LL ONLY AGREE TO A DEBT INCREASE, IF IT’S LINKED TO CUTS IN SPENDING.

{Rep. Chip Roy, (R) Texas} “I intend to use the debt ceiling to ensure that we get fiscal and structural, reforms.”

CONGRESSMAN CHIP ROY PROMISES HE WON’T BACK DOWN UNTIL THE U-S IS ON A MORE FINANCIALLY RESPONSIBLE PATH.

DEMOCRATS WORRY THAT WILL MEAN CUTS TO PROGRAMS LIKE SOCIAL SECURITY AND MEDICARE.

BUT CONGRESSMAN RICHARD NEAL SAYS HE’S READY TO START NEGOTIATING.

{Rep. Richard Neal, (D) Massachussetts} “Better to have the discussion right now, let’s set the table. Let’s get to the debate.”

SPEAKER MCCARTHY SAYS HE’S ALREADY BROUGHT UP THE ISSUE WITH PRESIDENT BIDEN.

{Rep. Kevin McCarthy, (R) California} “I told him, I’d like to sit down with him early and work through these challenges.”

ONCE THE US DOES HIT THE DEBT CEILING, LAWMAKERS WILL LIKELY ONLY HAVE UNTIL THIS SUMMER BEFORE THE COUNTRY DEFAULTS.

IN WASHINGTON, I’M HANNAH BRANDT.