DENVER (CBS4) – With the deadline rapidly approaching, the debt talks are the hot topic of discussion at the Western Conservative Summit meeting in Denver. The featured speakers presented both the sides of credit crisis — deal or no deal.

“The Democrats who control the Senate proposed a bill that would lead to the largest debt ceiling increase in the history of the United States,” said Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Minority Leader, Ky.

“Republicans in effect have taken Americans hostage, threatening to undermine the economy,” said Harry Reid, D-Majority Leader, Nev.

But while U.S. troops wonder if they’ll get paid, former Colorado Sen. Bill Armstrong says don’t panic.

“Congress is constitutionally incapable of solving a problem like this until the very last minute,” Armstrong said.

Juan Williams, a left-leaning political commentator, says too many swings in political power coupled with fiscal conservatives pressured by the Tea Party created gridlock.

“We are really looking into the abyss,” Williams said. “Right now you have those Republicans saying, ‘Wait a minute we don’t like the way business has been done and we’re willing to stand on principle rather than engage in compromise that would allow a deal to get made.'”

Yet if the fiscal conservatives like Armstrong have made their point to rein in spending, have they won? He says not yet.

“What we really got to accomplish is more than that however, and that is to actually reduce the amount of spending one year to the next,” Armstrong said.

“You come to Monday morning and you come to the idea of a global crisis over the United States government’s failure to honor its debts,” Williams said.

“There’s sort of an effort to create a hysteria that the world is going to end on Aug. 2,” Armstrong said. “It will not.”

Armstrong predicts the debt ceiling topic will be around until the next presidential election in 2012.

Also during the summit Georgia businessman Herman Cain won a wide straw poll in a hypothetical Republican presidential field.


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