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U.S. Debt Ceiling Will Have Impact on SW Oklahoma

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LAWTON, Okla._Debt ceiling deadlines are looming in Washington---and if they aren't met, people across the country will begin feeling the effects almost immediately--including here in Oklahoma.

Nearly two weeks since the shutdown began, problems in Washington have only been compounded by the search for a solution to the country's fiscal crisis.

Lawmakers have until Thursday to either raise the debt ceiling or create a larger budget for the U.S.

We asked several folks in Lawton today about how they felt about the debt ceiling.

And while many people shared their concerns---others didn't even know what it was--much less plan for disaster.

So we decided to go to the experts to fill us in on just how concerned you need to be if the nation's finances continues to take a noise dive.

"Oh i have no idea what it is," said one Lawton resident.

While they may not know exactly what it is they know it's not good. And they're nervous about what it could mean for their pocketbooks.

"I don't like it. I don't like it one bit. It scares us," said other residents.

 Brendan Wolverton shed some light on the matter.  He's the branch manager for Wells Fargo Advisors and he says stocks will be hit the hardest. And he says that money is what most often fuels 401k retirement funds.

Wolverton said, "A person's 401k is generally going to be invested in stocks and bonds so if stocks go down obviously the value of your account goes down."

And he says interest rates are also projected to skyrocket immediately for those borrowing money. Put it all together and residents will be forced to pinch pennies in order to keep assets afloat.

"If I'm not out spending money, you're not spending money, it means less revenue for the city and it affects our city budget also. So there's a domino effect, nobody is completely insulated," said Wolverton.

But Wolverton says there is a silver lining.  He says it's a great time to invest your money while stock prices are low. And locals say while it's out of their hands all they can do is hope for the best.

"It's not a good feeling, but at the same time, I know we'll overcome obstacles as this one. I know we've had better days and better days are yet to come," said one resident.

Currently the House of Representatives are voting on a plan proposed by Republicans to increase the debt limit to February 7th. Wolverton says plans like this one will hopefully allow Congress more time to create a more permanent plan of action.

Tonight's vote comes after the White House announced President Obama would veto the House's original plan, which included additional changes to new health care laws.

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