Government Faces More Challenges

January 3, 2013 Updated Jan 3, 2013 at 9:38 AM EDT

By WKBW News

January 3, 2013 Updated Jan 3, 2013 at 9:38 AM EDT

Washington, D.C. (WKBW) - The country may have avoided the fiscal cliff but the next looming challenge is the national debt. This is predicted to be even a nastier fight.

This debt crisis also comes with a strict deadline in the next few months when deep spending cuts to the Pentagon and domestic programs are set to kick in. The government will also no longer be able to handle the $16.4 trillion debt without having to borrow more money. Unless Congress increases the borrowing cap, the government risks a first ever default on the U.S. obligations.

House of Representative Speaker Republican John Boehner said that an increase in the debt limit must be equaled by the amount in cuts to federal spending.

President Obama hopes to settle this debate with less controversy than the recent fiscal cliff debate.

Boehner goes onto say that this puts republicans, once again, at odds with the President who has said that he won't let controversy over spending cuts interfere with the debate over the debt limit.

The decision to raise the debt ceiling must be made by March.