"We’re bankrupt because we cannot pay the bills that night," continued Risch, speaking of a scenario in which other countries would refuse to lend the Treasury the money it needs to operate. "No enemy did this to us. We did this to ourselves."

Risch also questioned the prospects of success for the deficit-cutting supercommittee.

“If you look at it from a historical standpoint, you would cynically say better people have tried and failed," said Risch. "But having said that, they’ve never tried in an environment like we’re in."