Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) blasted the Senate on Tuesday, saying that they were using procedural tricks in order to raise the debt ceiling. In a joint statement with Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) and Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), Cruz said that he would have no objection to sending the budget to conference if Democrats agreed to not use it as a back-door tool to raise taxes or the debt ceiling. They have not made such an agreement, so he exposed them.
“The issue before this body is the debt ceiling and whether the Senate will be able to raise the debt ceiling using a procedural back door that would allow only 51 votes [to pass],” Cruz said. “My friend from Nevada, my friend from Washington State, both of them could go to conference on the budget right now today if they would simply agree that this budget would not be used as a back door to use a procedural trick to raise the debt limit not on 60 votes, but on 50 votes.”
He also went on to point out that the budget they did debate had nothing in it that raised the debt ceiling. “I would suggest that the American people are not interested in procedural games. I think they’re tired of games by the Democrats, and they’re tired of games by the Republicans.”
He then declared to the Senate what the people are interested in. Cruz enlightened the senators, “What they are interested in is leadership in this body to address the enormous fiscal and economic challenges facing this country. Our national debt is nearly $17 trillion. It is larger than the size of our entire economy. The last four years our economy has grown 0.9 percent a year. Twenty-three million people are struggling to find jobs. This body should be debating every day how do we get the economy moving, how do we get people back to work, how do we stop our unsustainable debt?”
” This issue is very simple: Will the senate allow a procedural back door to raise the debt ceiling and to do it while not fixing any of the problems?” he asked.
“Now, this body may well vote to raise the debt ceiling, but if this body votes to raise the debt ceiling, we should do so after fair and open debate where the threshold is the traditional 60-vote threshold where we can address what I think is imperative to fixing the problem,” Cruz declared.
He then spoke about the constituents he represents (and they love him for doing so). “I have 26 million Texans who I am not willing to go to and say if they ask me ‘Why did you go along with a procedural game to raise the debt ceiling, to allow Republicans in the senate to be shut out, to give up any ability to force pro-growth reforms, to get jobs back, to get the economy back, to get people working. Why did you give up?’”
Cruz then laid the blame of any increased debt ceiling where it should be laid, on the Democrats. “We may well have a vote, but if we had a vote, the vote would be a 51-vote threshold, which would mean my friends on the Democratic side of the aisle have been very explicit that in their collective judgment, the debt ceiling should be raised with no conditions.”
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