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This isn't the official word but it is the only thing that makes sense in this situation.
If the debt ceiling isn't raised then Treasury will be forced to prioritize what will and won't get paid. Such a prioritization will put the pressure back on Congress to make some real and significant decisions about what it decides is a priority. It's hardball at its finest and we're really quite likely to see the wheat separated from the chaff.
Furthermore, it seems that this stalemate is the result of staunch resistance from a few Tea Party faithful. They've been pushing for 3 years and now it seems like they have taken a significant step toward asserting their power. I suspect that a few of them feel that they got rolled by Boehner in March and aren't about to let that happen again.
It will be fascinating to see how this plays out. The TEA Party seems to have finally put on a big league uniform. Now we have to see how they do at the plate.