Texas Sen. Ted Cruz vowed to filibuster any attempt by Democrats to pass a bill to increase or suspended the debt ceiling, which could spark a financial crisis, Politico reports.
Republicans have refused to back a must-pass bill that would raise the country’s borrowing limit so it could continue to pay off its debt. If the bill doesn’t pass, the US would default on its debt for the first time in history, potentially triggering economic fallout.
Republicans could allow Democrats to simply pass a bill with a simple majority and just vote against it but instead Republicans like Cruz are planning to filibuster the bill.
Democrats could still get around the filibuster by using a budget resolution to kick off a budget reconciliation process that would allow them to pass the measure with a simple majority. But Democrats want to avoid future fights over the debt limit by suspending it entirely. Under budget rules, Democrats would most likely have to raise the limit to a specific number.
Cruz to filibuster:
“Democrats have the full ability to raise the debt ceiling as a part of reconciliation,” Cruz told Politico. “They want political cover.”
Democrats say lifting the limit should be bipartisan since Republican President Donald Trump ran up so much debt.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said this week that “neither party can wash its hands of responsibility to pay the bills. Leader McConnell keeps talking about the new spending that Democrats have done. That’s not this debt.”
Dems eye 10 GOP votes:
Democrats are looking to convince at least 10 Republicans in the Senate to join them and block a filibuster.
But 46 Republicans have already come out against any debt limit increase, meaning that the prospect of a bipartisan vote is highly unlikely.
Cruz rejected calls for Republicans to allow Democrats to pass the bill, which they admit is necessary, without a filibuster.
“They have 100 percent control and ability to raise the debt ceiling on reconciliation,” Cruz told Politico. “And the only reason they wouldn’t do so is to play political games.”