Six days before the United States will have insufficient funds to pay all its creditors, Republicans and Democrats have yet to reach an agreement on how to avoid default and obviate a momentous downgrade of the nation’s credit rating. Hanging on the outcome of the debt-ceiling crisis are interest rates on U.S. Treasury bonds and consequently, all loans; the salaries of millions of federal employees, including active-duty military; payments to the millions who depend on Social Security and Medicare — all these and more.
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