Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, is threatening to filibuster an attempt by the Democrats to raise the debt ceiling, Politico is reporting.
The outlet said if he carries through with his threat, it would close off one of the Democrats’ pathways to avoiding a default later this year.
Politico said Republican lawmakers could, in theory, decline to filibuster a debt bill. That would permit Democrats to increase the credit cap with a simple majority vote in the Senate.
But Cruz, in an interview, is vowing he will not let that happen, according to Politico.
He has joined others in the GOP who are insisting a default be avoided along party lines using the budget reconciliation process.
“Democrats have the full ability to raise the debt ceiling as a part of reconciliation,” Cruz said. “They want political cover.”
The Democrats have called for a bipartisan effort to lift the debt ceiling, claiming much of the debt came under the Trump administration.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said on Tuesday that “neither party can wash its hands of responsibility to pay the bills.”
In a letter last month, 46 Republican senators warned Democrats that they will not vote for an increase in the debt ceiling, according to Bloomberg News.
“We will not vote to increase the debt ceiling, whether that increase comes through a stand-alone bill, a continuing resolution, or any other vehicle,” the letter said. “Democrats, at any time, have the power through reconciliation to unilaterally raise the debt ceiling, and they should not be allowed to pretend otherwise.”
Cruz was asked why Republicans shouldn’t permit Democrats to raise the debt ceiling without a filibuster.
He replied: “They have 100% control and ability to raise the debt ceiling on reconciliation. And the only reason they wouldn’t do so is to play political games.”
Politico noted Democrats are seeking at least 10 GOP votes to raise the debt ceiling. But with 46 Republican Senators warning they will not increase the ceiling, it promises to be a tough fight.
Politico said the debt ceiling is expected to be breached in October.