Not Increasing the Debt Does Not Cause Default
The claim that failing to increase the U.S. debt will CAUSE the U.S. to default on its debt is untrue.
To understand, consider a profligate spender whose expenses have exceeded income for many years while the debt increased until it was so high the bank would no longer lend more money. Big Spender does not have to default on the mortgage and car payment and suffer foreclosure and repossession if his income is greater than the mortgage and car payments. There is another option. Big spender can stop going to fancy expensive restaurants, stop buying fancy expensive clothes, stop taking fancy expensive vacations and cruises, buy hot dogs instead of expensive filet mignon at the grocery store and otherwise eliminate non-essential expenses. Big Spender can also seek debt counseling to help formulate a budget that sets priorities and avoids default.
If the national debt is not increased, the U.S. can also adjust priorities and avoid default, and there are many people who would be happy to give advice on what expenditures to cut from the budget. Since the income into the U.S. Treasury exceeds the funds needed to service the debt, debt default is not necessary. There are many U.S. expenses that can be deferred or eliminated. The failed Energy Department (created to make us energy independent) can be eliminated. Education, which has traditionally been the responsibility of local governments, can be removed from the Federal budget. Massive foreign aid programs going to dictators that abuse their citizens can be eliminated. There are organizations like Planned Parenthood and Public Broadcasting that can exist without federal funding. There are many pork-barrel programs in the government that can be eliminated. The Congressional Budget Office detailed many programs that have duplicate appropriations in many different government departments. And if all that is not sufficient, federal employees can be given a few days off without pay each month until the debt is under control.
If the President insists on defaulting on the debt, it is his responsibility and the onus is on him, not on the Congress that refused to raise the debt.