The leading Republican on the Senate Banking Committee says that if Greece defaults on its debt, it could tilt the United States into another recession.
Republican Sen. Richard Shelby says "we're intertwined with Europe," and America cannot escape economic shocks an ocean away.
Shelby tells MSNBC a critical question is whether Western Europe will "keep sputtering along." And he questions whether Chancellor Angela Merkel can sell German assistance politically at home.
The Alabama senator says that since the U.S. economy is so tightly tied connected to the financial fortunes of Western Europe, "what happens there affects us." He calls Greece "just the tip of the iceberg" of financial instability and that the European debt crisis "is just beginning. It's going to be a slow drift for a long time."