(CNN) - America will face economic calamity if Congress fails to raise the nation’s debt ceiling and the government defaults on its obligations, White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer said Wednesday on CNN's "The Situation Room."
President Barack Obama will meet with congressional leaders on Thursday to discuss a deficit reduction deal that Republicans are linking to their support for increasing how much money the government can borrow.
When asked by CNN's Candy Crowley about a backup plan for getting the debt ceiling raised, Pfeiffer said there was "no other path" than for the limit on government borrowing to be increased by the August 2 deadline.
"You don't need a Plan B," Pfeiffer said. "What you need to do is what every American wants us to do, which is get together, make some tough decisions, deal with our deficit and make it so we can pay our obligations."
If the government defaults, Pfeiffer said Americans can expect serious uncertainty on Wall Street, potential dents in their 401K plans and increases in interest rates.
Some in Congress have called for a short-term increase in the debt ceiling to allow time for further negotiations, an idea that Pfeiffer labeled as "untenable.”
Such a short-term deal would mean "we're going to be debating about the exact same issue 30 days from now - 60 days from now –so let's deal with it now," Pfeiffer said.
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