That's true. I was being loose. Actually defaulting on the debt isn't going to happen. But whatever they did would be highly embarrassing and bad for the credit rating. One of the US main assets is its reputation for fiscal honesty. A great deal of money is invested here for that reason, a situation greatly to the advantage to the US, and jeopardizing that could very well lead to catastrophe.
I think the policy resulting in borrowing over a trillion dollars a year should be the focus of embarrassment. That policy is guaranteed to cause eventual catastrophe, unlike one that stops additional borrowing.