Wait, Wait, Wait, just to be clear, I am going to repeat myself 15 more times.
The Republicans are playing politics just like the Democrats. Very few of them have any interest in ethics or what is best for the future of this country and those they represent.
To default, the Presidient would have to choose to do so. You do not default the second a debt ceiling deadline is passed.
Certainly in a longer time frame a "no choice but default" situation would definitely exist if nothing were done.
But Oct. 17th? No chance, unless the President wanted it to happen, and took conscious, active steps to make it happen (i.e. choosing not to pay, but to pay for other things instead). We have more than enough cash on hand to pay the interest on the debt for quite some time.
It's amazing to me how little people know about their own Government and it's operating cycles....it's how so much political propaganda (from boths sides) gets believed.
The true cash crunch will come sometime between October 22 and November 1, according to estimates by the Congressional Budget Office and the Bipartisan Policy Center.
It's impossible to say precisely which day because payments due and revenue inflows are uneven and hard to predict.
But when that day comes, the United States faces the prospect of willfully defaulting on some of its legal obligations for the first time ever.