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Ayotte urges Cruz to allow quick vote in Senate on debt deal

Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) on Wednesday urged her GOP colleague Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas) to allow a Senate budget deal to hit the floor without delay. 

Ayotte said delaying a Senate bill with procedural tactics would have little point. 

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“It is up to him,” she said on CNN’s “New Day.” “I would hope that he wouldn’t [delay a vote]. I mean in the Senate, obviously, in terms of certain time frames, senators can cause you to run out the clock. But what is he trying to gain at this point?”
Before the shutdown began on Oct. 1, Cruz gave a long speech on the Senate floor and refused to allow the Senate to move more quickly to a debate on an earlier government funding bill that included language to defund ObamaCare. 

Cruz's call for ObamaCare to be defunded and his earlier tactics have raised questions about whether he would object to a unanimous consent request that could allow the Senate to dispense with a bill to raise the debt ceiling quickly. 

Senate leaders are expected to come forward with a proposal Wednesday, a day before a deadline set by the Treasury Department. 

Cruz, so far, has given no indication of whether he'd seek to delay a deal.

Ayotte argued that, even if some GOP senators plan to vote against a deal, they have an obligation to allow it to come up for a vote. 

“Even if you are going to vote against it, let's get the agreement resolved,” she said. 

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who opposed Cruz's strategy of tying ObamaCare defunding to funding the government, said Tuesday night that Republicans should admit defeat. 

“Republicans have to understand we have lost this battle, as I predicted weeks ago, that we would not be able to win because we were demanding something that was not achievable,” McCain told The New York Times

Ayotte said she “absolutely” agrees with her ally, adding, “It was an ill-conceived strategy from the beginning, not a winning strategy.”

She urged Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to allow a vote in the House, even if it depends on Democratic support for passage. She said she does not envy him. 

“I know he has been in a difficult position, but we’re at the time where we have to get it done, so I believe that he needs to bring it up for a vote,” she said.