For some conservatives, refusing to raise the limit on the federal debt would be a tactic to force the government into cutting spending.
Last February, Congress raised the debt ceiling to $14.3 trillion.
The debt is now at nearly $13.9 trillion and growing each day.
A move to raise the ceiling again is expected this spring.
The chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, Austan Goolsbee, says that refusing to raise the debt ceiling would push the country into default - and a far greater economic crisis than Americans saw in 2008.
Goolsbee spoke Sunday on ABC's "This Week."
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)