August 2011: President Obama (right) and House Speaker John Boehner at the White House as they and other lawmakers worked to head off a government shutdown that loomed. Jewel Samad /AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Jewel Samad /AFP/Getty Images

Within minutes after being turned on Monday, the GOP's clock measuring how much the national debt had grown was moving up quickly. Becky Lettenberger/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Becky Lettenberger/NPR