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My conspiratorial reading of this: the GOP wants to force Obama into an expansion (albeit seemingly relatively minor and innocuous) of presidential power. If nothing else, they can then use this against him and the Dems later -- but it also fits in nicely with their aspirations of unlimited executive power for the presidency.

... more about "2011/07/19/1529/link"
Preventing default is no less justified than using American military power to protect against an armed invasion without a congressional declaration of war. +, The president would be justified in taking extreme actions to protect against a debt default. +  and The debt limit is trumped by a little-known provision in the Constitution. +
The Debt Limit Option President Obama Can Use +
April 29, 2011 +