The President does not need Congress to take any action, for federal payments to continue to be made on time.
To encourage the President to take action, see the White House petition athttp://wh.gov/lTvU6
The petition is to encourage the President to require the Secretary of the Treasury to use existing, Constitutional, statutory authority to mint "Trillion Dollar" platinum coins to cover spending.
The Secretary can mint platinum coins of any face value, deposit this coin into the treasury, and spend the newly created currency. I argue this less inflationary than borrowing.
Example: You buy $5000 of Series EE savings bonds. The government spends your $5000. Finding a used car you want, you can transfer the ownership of those bonds to the car seller.
Effectively there $10,000 in circulation, just as there would have been if the government had printed new money.
The same thing is in the big picture happening each year to the level of billions if not trillions of dollars.
Further to the extent that the created currency pays off an interest bearing treasury note, by eliminating future interest it is deflationary.