"We're saying focus on overspending instead of long-term debt," Tim Phillips, president of Americans for Prosperity said in an interview. "We're going to have a hard line on the sequester cuts." (Read more: Koch Group Urges Restraint on Debt Talks)
President Obama has declared that he won't negotiate over the debt ceiling. He's said that raising the ceiling does not authorize any new spending but simply allows the government to continue to pay for obligations to which Congress has already agreed. Even Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has backed that view.
Analysts say that allowing the U.S. to default on payments for items like Social Security, Medicaid and defense could lower the country's credit rating and send stock markets into a freefall.
The debt ceiling's been raised some 74 times since 1962. Ten of those times have occurred since 2001.
Republicans like Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) claimed that a Republican-led refusal to raise the debt ceiling could be a "wonderful experiment" in forcing the government not to spend money on "stupid things."
The Tea Party Patriots, the nation's largest tea party group, said the Obama administration "has spent four years driving up the deficit and stalling when it comes to spending cuts, forcing Republicans to take drastic action such as threatening to hold the line on raising the debt limit or shut down the government to get Democrats to negotiate on spending."