Cruz says GOP will block Schumer from bypassing filibuster on debt hike

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said on Tuesday that Republicans will block an attempt by Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) to bypass the filibuster on the debt ceiling.

“There is no universe in which I am going to consent to lower the the threshold and make it easier for him to do so. He’s playing games. … The games aren’t going to work,” Cruz said.

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) also said that he would “absolutely” object. 

“That’s helping them raise the debt ceiling,” Johnson said about whether Republicans would let Democrats set the vote at a simple majority. 

The conservative pushback comes after Schumer announced that he would try to get consent to set up a vote that would allow them to raise the debt ceiling by a simple majority vote. 

“I will ask unanimous consent for the Senate to hold a vote to increase the debt limit at a majority threshold. … It would be very similar to the process that Leader [Mitch] McConnell cited yesterday favorably which allowed for the debt limit to be increased without the minority party providing any of the votes needed to do so,” Schumer said

But any one Republican will be able to object to Schumer’s request and force Democrats to hit the higher threshold of needing 60 votes, including the support of at least 10 GOP senators.

Republicans are trying to force Democrats to raise the debt ceiling as part of a sweeping spending bill that they are passing under reconciliation, a process that lets them bypass the filibuster.

Unlike if Republicans allowed Schumer’s request, raising the debt ceiling under reconciliation requires Democrats to specify a number for their debt hike. 

Republicans filibustered on Monday night a bill that would fund the government through Dec. 3 and suspend the debt ceiling through 2022. 

McConnell, on Monday, noted that Democrats had voted against a debt ceiling increase in the 2000s when Republicans had a unified government. 

But Democrats at the time didn’t filibuster allowing Republicans to bypass needing 60 votes. 

“When Republicans had unified control in the early 2000’s, then-senators Biden and Schumer voted no on a debt limit increase and made the party in power handle it on their own,” McConnell said.

Updated at 1:16 p.m.

Tags Charles Schumer debt ceiling Filibuster Ron Johnson Ted Cruz

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