The clock is ticking on an agreement to raise the federal borrowing limit -- 10 days and counting until the June 1 deadline -- as lawmakers scramble to strike a deal on the debt ceiling to avert a potentially devastating default.

The political hot potato has Congressional Republicans calling for massive spending cuts to address the nation's $31.4 trillion debt. President Joe Biden and Democrats accuse the GOP of holding the U.S. economy hostage by playing politics with a matter that historically receives bipartisan support.

"It would be a body blow to the economy," Moody's economist Bernard Yaros told CNN, "and it would be a manufactured crisis."

Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy are expected to meet this week to hammer out a deal. Politics aside, the one issue both sides can agree on is the importance of avoiding a default, which Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen set June 1 as a hard deadline.

"If Congress fails to increase the debt limit, it would cause severe hardship to American families, harm our global leadership position, and raise questions about our ability to defend our national security interests," Yellen said.

Here are the specific potential impacts of a political impasse preventing the federal government from paying its bills and going into default:

* Economic conditions: A default crisis couldn't come at a worse time for the fragile U.S. economy, which is teetering on the verge of a recession due to stingy inflation and other pressures. Things could get far worse under default conditions, including a surge in unemployment and a rise in borrowing costs amid already elevated interest rates.

* Financial markets: Just as consumers suffer consequences from bad credit, so will the U.S. government if it fails to pay its bills. The full impact of a default is not fully known since this uncharted territory, but a close call in 2011 negatively impacted financial markets and confidence in the dollar. A prolonged default could hold far greater consequences.

* Social Security: More than 66 million Americans rely on monthly Social Security payments and other federal aid programs, which could be interrupted by a default. The Treasury Department could opt to extend those payments through an established trust fund to minimize the impact, but funding for programs such as food stamps and health insurance would be up in the air.

* Federal employees/Military pay: Anyone who receives a federal pay check is at risk of losing their salaries and benefits due to a default. That includes over 2 million civilian government workers and 1.4 million active-duty members of the military. Also in danger of losing benefits are the 16.5 million U.S. military veterans.

* International standing: The U.S. finds itself in the precarious position of playing the role of world leader in the face of threats from China, Russia and other actors. Failure to pay its obligations would do serious damage to U.S. interests around the globe, in particular funding for Ukraine in its war against Russia. Rival world powers could seize on the default to extend their power for decades to come.