"I think the Speaker knows quite well how far the president is willing to go," Lew said. "The president has shown that he is willing to move into a space that is a very hard place for Democrats to go."
Kyl did, however, agree with Lew that he does believe an agreement will be reached before the Aug. 2 deadline.
"The country will not default," Kyl said. "Whether or not there are savings achieve in the process remains a question."
Lew said the "world is watching" to see if U.S. leaders can reach a deal before any negative consequences of default.
"There are some extreme voices that are saying we should push it over the edge," Lew said. "I think the risk of taking that path is just enormous. It would mean higher interest rates, which are a tax on all Americans, it would undermine our standard in the world, and it could have a cloud for a long time over the United States."
"It's kind of unfortunate that things always have to get to the last minute," Lew added. "Right now we are in a place where the world is watching, and we should get our business done."