Top Republican says 10 GOP senators will help advance debt hike

Sen. John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Congress avoids shutdown Senate dodges initial December crisis with last-minute deal Congress averts shutdown after vaccine mandate fight MORE (S.D.), the No. 2 Senate Republican, said on Thursday that 10 GOP senators will ultimately help advance a short-term debt hike, but predicted a painful process amid private haggling.

“In the end we’ll be there, but it’s going to be a painful birthing process,” Thune said, asked about Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellLawmakers remember Bob Dole: 'Bona fide American hero' Senate leaders face pushback on tying debt fight to defense bill Former Sen. Bob Dole dies at 98 MORE’s (R-Ky.) ability to 10 GOP votes to advance the debt ceiling hike.

GOP Sens. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzHospitals in underserved communities face huge cuts in reckless 'Build Back Better' plan To counter China, the Senate must confirm US ambassadors The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Congress avoids shutdown MORE (Texas), Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Congress avoids shutdown Senate dodges initial December crisis with last-minute deal Congress averts shutdown after vaccine mandate fight MORE (Utah) and Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulRand Paul: Chris Cuomo firing 'a small step toward CNN regaining any credibility' GOP anger with Fauci rises Congress's goal in December: Avoid shutdown and default MORE (Ky.) are requiring that the debt hike legislation, which would increase the nation’s borrowing limit, overcome a filibuster, meaning it will require 60 votes to end debate on the bill.

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To make that happen, 10 Senate Republicans will need to vote to end debate, even though they could then oppose final passage of the bill since that vote only requires a simple majority.

Ten GOP senators haven’t yet publicly said that they will vote to end debate on the debt hike. Sens. Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Wellons Moore CapitoThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Congress avoids shutdown Senate dodges initial December crisis with last-minute deal GOP ramps up attacks on SALT deduction provision MORE (R-W.Va.), Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiSenate leaders face pushback on tying debt fight to defense bill Congress should reject H.R. 1619's dangerous anywhere, any place casino precedent Democratic frustration growing over stagnating voting rights bills MORE (R-Alaska) and Richard ShelbyRichard Craig ShelbySenate leaders face pushback on tying debt fight to defense bill Congress averts shutdown after vaccine mandate fight Pelosi hammers 'anti-science, anti-vaccination' Republicans for threatening shutdown MORE (R-Ala.) have all indicated that they will help advance the debt hike over the procedural huddle.

The deal between McConnell and Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerHospitals in underserved communities face huge cuts in reckless 'Build Back Better' plan GOP infighting takes stupid to a whole new level Progressive groups urge Schumer to prevent further cuts to T plan MORE (D-N.Y.) has sparked grumbling from GOP senators who argue that McConnell caved after Republicans had vowed for weeks that they wouldn’t help Democrats raise the debt ceiling. Republicans has previously warned that they viewed helping end debate on the bill and breaking a filibuster as enabling the raising of the debt ceiling.

The Senate is going to hold a nomination vote on Thursday afternoon, where leadership is hoping to get senators to sign off on an agreement to pass the debt ceiling hike as soon as Thursday.

“We’re trying to get a time agreement,” Thune said, adding that the “plan” would be for the debt hike to pass on Thursday.

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But Thune indicated that they were still negotiating with members of their caucus.

“This is not an easy one to whip,” he said. “Our guys hate debt limit votes.”

Updated 3:46 p.m.