WASHINGTON (CBS DC/AP) — Will Ted Cruz stage another filibuster?
The Republican senator from Texas says he will object any effort to raise the debt ceiling with a simple majority vote, instead requiring 60 votes to approve the bill the House passed 221-201.
“I intend to object to any effort to raise the debt ceiling on a 50-vote threshold. I will insist instead on a 60-vote threshold, and if Republicans stand together we can demand meaningful spending restraint to help pull our nation back from the fiscal and economic cliff,” Cruz said in a statement.
The Republican-controlled House voted Tuesday to extend the Treasury Department’s borrowing limit without any concessions from the White House to avoid default after House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and his top lieutenants voted for the measure, along with 193 Democrats.
The measure does not raise the debt limit by a set amount but would suspend it through March 15, 2015, to allow Treasury to borrow the money it needs to pay bills like Social Security benefits, payments on government debt and checks for federal workers.
The vote comes four months after Washington defused a government shutdown and debt crisis that burned Republicans politically – an experience they did not want to repeat.
Cruz wants to attach conditions to the debt ceiling bill in an effort to curb federal spending.
“Historically, the debt ceiling has proven the most effective leverage for reining in spending; 28 times, Congress has attached meaningful conditions to debt ceiling increases,” Cruz stated. “We should do so again to address the real problem.”
The U.S. officially hit its debt ceiling limit Feb. 7. Because of that, the Treasury Department was forced to resort to “extraordinary measures” to prevent a default on the nation’s debt. Despite hitting the debt ceiling, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew stated in a letter to Congress last month that these “extraordinary measures” will only work until late February or early March to avoid default.
“The full faith and credit (of the United States) should be unquestioned and it is not negotiable,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., told The Associated Press.
Cruz called the bill “wrong” and “irresponsible.”
“Under President Obama, our national debt has increased from $10 trillion to $17 trillion, and now the President is asking for yet another blank check to keep increasing our debt without doing anything to reform Washington’s spending problem,” Cruz said. “This is wrong, and it’s irresponsible. Our parents didn’t do this to us, and we shouldn’t do it to our kids and grandkids.”
Last September, Cruz filibustered for over 21 hours in an effort to defund Obamacare.
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