It is the final countdown.  Democrats and Republicans in Congress have until midnight tonight to come up with a deal to raise the debt ceiling to avoid defaulting on federal debt.

The Democratic leadership in the Senate and the Republican leadership in the House have not been able to come up with a compromise both sides are comfortable with.

The Tea Party faction of the Republican Party has been insistent that major changes to Obamacare have to be made for them to approve a debt ceiling increase.

Democrats across the board want a clean continuing resolution with minor Republican concessions.  Mainstream/Moderate Republicans are looking for a temporary expansion of the debt ceiling with a long term debt control measure included.

It looked like a deal was going to be made yesterday after Senate Democrats and Republicans were optimistic a deal would get done.

However, later in the day, it became apparent the votes needed for it to pass would not be there in the House.  The House tried working on its own version, however Republicans remained divided on how to proceed.

If a deal is not made by tonight, the federal government may not be able to meet its debt service obligations.  Fitch has threatened to downgrade the nation's credit rating.