"I'm going to vote for raising the national debt ceiling," said Rockefeller. "To not do so would be completely irresponsible."

Rockefeller said balancing the budget will require many sacrifices, including raising taxes — a move that is universally opposed by Republicans.

"If we're going to balance the budget, we're going to have to do some things we don't want to do," said Rockefeller.

Keeping tax breaks "is such a bedrock belief on the Republican side," added Rockefeller. "We really shouldn't be arguing about this because it's a waste of time. They are not going to change."