It's T minus two weeks until July 1. That's the chosen deadline for the small bipartisan group of lawmakers negotiating a debt-reduction "framework" to accompany an increase in the country's debt ceiling.
Even that deadline, however, will make it hard to end the debt ceiling drama by Aug. 2, when the Treasury Department says it will no longer be able to pay all the country's bills in full without being allowed to borrow.
Indeed, the reality of the legislative process makes a short-term increase until September or October likely, some believe.
"In the next six weeks, there really isn't the time to technically draft that legislation, take it through the Congress, vote on it and have it signed," said former Congressional Budget Office director Barry Anderson at a conference held by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget last week.