The nation's economy could suffer greatly as a result of the Washington game of chicken between...

....the newly Republican-controlled House of Representatives and the Democratic-led Senate and White House.

After the GOP won control of the House in the midterm elections and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen issued a warning that the government....

.....would go over its statutory borrowing limit, or debt ceiling, of $31.4 trillion as of January 19, the most recent round of what has become a recurring Washington parlor game began.

Yellen informed Congress on Thursday that the US had reached its debt ceiling and would start taking "extraordinary measures" to satisfy its obligations.

The first move was to stop contributing to government employees' retirement funds.

It is anticipated that this will buy some time, but the precise day - referred to as the "X-date" - when the government will not have enough money to pay its debts is unclear and relies on a variety of events, including the arrival of federal income and if the economy enters a recession.