Following typical government boss script of promising assured destruction if he doesn't get his way, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew tells Congress prioritizing payments would be irresponsible and cause irrevocable damage.
Moody's has taken the lead in pointing out that default is a choice - not a mandate - should the debt ceiling not be hiked. The Treasury takes more than enough in to service its debt and would be allowed to issue new debt to replace anything maturing. The situation now is far less alarming than 2011 as the budget deficit is a good deal smaller today.
Stock index futures have given back some gains as Lew testifies, the S&P 500 now +0.8% vs +1% minutes ago.