CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Tensions are high in Washington as Congress remains at odds over what decision to make on the federal debt ceiling. An agreement has to be made sooner rather than later with less than a month now until the predicted default date. The options on the table are to raise, suspend or eliminate the debt ceiling.

Fears of a default now mounting, following Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s warning the federal government may not be able to pay its bills come June 1st. The debt limit is the cap on the total amount the government can borrow.

A government default here in the U.S. would have global financial implications. As Congressman Richard Neal told 22News, that’s because of the prominence of American currency, “The American dollar is the international currency of the world. The rest of the world pegs their currency denominations to the American dollar.”

President Biden and Democrats are in favor of increasing the $31.4 trillion debt ceiling while House Speaker McCarthy and Republicans want spending cuts in return.

AIC Professor of Economics John Rogers explained to 22News why Democrats oppose granting that request, “Those spending cuts are unpopular with the Democrats because they cut into the safety net programs, and require things like work requirements or giving back some of the COVID money.”

“This is not an argument about new spending, this is an argument about paying our bills,” said Neal. “And I think some of the demagoguery that has surrounded this is reckless.”

Since 1960, Congress has either risen, extended or revised the definition of the debt ceiling on 78 occasions. It has never in U.S. history defaulted on the debt limit.

President Biden on Monday made a step toward reaching a negotiation, inviting the four congressional leaders to a White House meeting on May 9th.