How far over the 'fiscal cliff' could they go?

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Fiscal Cliff Debt Ceiling
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Fiscal Cliff Debt Ceiling
In this Dec. 5, 2012, photo, President Barack Obama pauses as he speaks about the "fiscal cliff" at the Business Roundtable, an association of chief executive officers, in Washington. The political fight that took the nation to the verge of defaulting on its debts last year is back, overshadowed by "fiscal cliff" disputes but with consequences far graver than looming tax hikes and steep spending cuts. The government is on track to hit its $16.4 trillion borrowing limit later this month. And while the Treasury can keep the government functioning through early next year, Obama is bluntly insisting that any deal on the "fiscal cliff" must include an end to brinkmanship on the debt ceiling. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)