Old Mitch lets the cat out of the bag
Baier, filling in for Chris Wallace, pressed McConnell on what would happen if no deal could be worked out and whether he was concerned with the consequences of what might happen if the debt ceiling is not raised. McConnell confidently responded, “nobody is talking about not raising the debt ceiling. I haven’t heard that discussed by anybody.” Yet Baier informed him that Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, among others, have explicitly said just that. Baier even quoted Bachmann saying “don’t let them fool you that the economy is going to collapse” if the debt ceiling isn’t raised.
I'm fairly sure he's talking about the people who are negotiating the deal, not Michele Bachman. And yes, they all agreed up front that they must raise the debt ceiling. Nobody is seriously contemplating walking away. The President hasn't even made the slightest feint in that direction by issuing a veto threat if they send him something outrageous, so the Democrats aren't even pretending to play that game. And McConnell just let the cat out of the bag (it has never exactly been in) that they don't take the Tea party caucus seriously either.
While they may be playing around the edges with tax hikes, the trial balloons all show that the "negotiation" is really over how much cutting -- and in what areas --- each side can agree to. And since austerity is counterproductive and illiberal in any case, the GOP has already won. They are actually just negotiating the spin.