On a conference call with reporters today, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) hinted that he may filibuster the House passed debt ceiling suspension in the Senate. Cruz’s antics are why Harry Reid must go nuclear on all Republican filibusters.
Cruz broke out the same rhetoric that he used before the government shutdown, and hinted at blocking the debt limit bill, “If you get outside Washington, D.C., this issue is practically a no brainer. President Obama is asking Congress for a blank check. …Under no circumstances will I consent to the debt ceiling being raised with only a 50-vote threshold. I think Senate Republicans should stand united and insist upon a 60-vote threshold. And that is my intention.” The stand united language was the same point that he made before the government shutdown.
Listen to Sarah Jones and I discuss Harry Reid and the filibuster:
Meanwhile, Harry Reid is getting more fed up with Republican obstruction and is making noises about nuking the legislative filibuster. It is possible that Ted Cruz is making these threats just for publicity, but this is the same guy who triggered the government shutdown. Cruz’s track record suggests that he would happily cause a default if it brought him one step closer to winning the Republican nomination in 2016.
Republicans are making Harry Reid’s decision for him. These Republican games have to stop. One might have thought that Republicans would have learned something from the government shutdown, and the last time that Harry Reid went nuclear, but it seems Cruz might be willing to play this game all over again. Harry Reid is running out of options. He can either risk plunging the nation into another economic crisis by letting Republicans block the debt limit bill, or he can change the filibuster rules again for the good of the country.
As the days go by, this is starting to look like an easy decision for Majority Leader Reid.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association