Speaker of the House John Boehner during a news conference with members of the House Republican leadership at the U.S. Capitol on Thursday morning. Win McNamee/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Win McNamee/Getty Images

House Speaker John Boehner shows his softer side Thursday before resuming his tough guy role in the fiscal fight. Evan Vucci/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Evan Vucci/AP

Despite all the warning signs, U.S. leaders continue to barrel toward a debt default with no one yet willing to step on the brakes. SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio (right) leads members of Congress as they step outside the Capitol on Wednesday to attend a ceremony in remembrance of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. With him are House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer. J. Scott Applewhite/AP hide caption

itoggle caption J. Scott Applewhite/AP

As workers prepare the Capitol for Monday's inaugural ceremony, there's word that Congress might not get into another battle over the debt ceiling. Kevin Dietsch /UPI /Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Kevin Dietsch /UPI /Landov

You'd need a lot of these — think in terms of railroad cars to haul them — to have $1 trillion. Shannon Stapleton /Reuters /Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Shannon Stapleton /Reuters /Landov

Standard & Poor's downgrade of the U.S. credit rating Friday will play a role in President Obama's political future. Carolyn Kaster/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Carolyn Kaster/AP