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Senate Dems’ Effort to Move to Budget Conference Blocked for 15th Time

Cruz won't take a deal to keep debt ceiling out of budget negotiations.

by
Bill Straub

Bio

June 28, 2013 - 1:50 pm
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WASHINGTON – Republicans continue to stand in the way of efforts to kick-start Senate-House negotiations over the 2014 federal budget out of fear that any agreement might include raising the debt ceiling.

Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, attempted once again to get a vote on a proposed budget with the prospect of engaging in a conference committee with the lower chamber on a spending plan. That effort was blocked by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who insists that any agreement include language prohibiting conferees from reaching a debt limit deal.

The Budget Committee said it was the 15th time Democrats have attempted to go to conference since passing their budget 95 days ago.

The ongoing debate centers on the upper chamber’s sometimes arcane procedures. The Senate can pass a budget bill or any spending package emanating from a conference by garnering 50 votes. Considered separately, legislation to increase the debt limit is vulnerable to a filibuster, which requires 60 votes to call up for consideration.

Cruz essentially said he wants to keep the debt ceiling out of any House-Senate negotiations because those who oppose increasing the debt ceiling likely would lose. Democrats hold the majority in the Senate and likely could muster the necessary 50 votes to kill the effort.

“If the debt limit can be raised using 50 votes then the majority party, the Democrats, do not need to speak to the Republicans, do not need to sit down at the table and work with the Republicans, do not need to listen to any opposing views,” Cruz said.

Using budget negotiations to address the debt ceiling provides proponents with “a procedural backdoor” to reach concurrence with the Republican-led House, Cruz said.

“The Senate budget didn’t address the debt ceiling,” Cruz said. “The House budget didn’t address the debt ceiling. We didn’t have a debate on the floor of this Senate on the debt ceiling. We didn’t have a vote on the floor of the Senate about the debt ceiling. And yet the reason the majority is so adamant they want to go to conference is because it presents them with an avenue to use 50 votes, the votes of only the Democrats, in this body to raise the debt ceiling and dig us further in debt and to do nothing, nothing, nothing to fix the problem.”

Democrats attempted on 14 prior different occasions to gain the consent of Republicans to proceed to a vote on the Senate’s proposed budget and each time it has been shot down.

“A large group of us just think that, although we do have major differences between the parties’ values and priorities, we should at least come to the table and try to work out a deal,” Murray said. “That’s what the American people do every day. When there’s a disagreement, they can’t afford to just play a game of chicken and hope the other person gives in. Because when that happens, important things don’t get done.”

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All Comments   (13)
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1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
" ... we fundamentally know it is wrong to stick our kids and grandkids with $17 trillion in debt. And it’s even more wrong to keep on doing it and making it worse and worse and worse and not roll up our sleeves to fix things.”

Cruz is taking responsibility and asking for accountability; something that scares the rest of them. It's immoral and reprehensible to spend other people's money frivolously and then expect future generations to pay it back.

GO CRUZ!!!! Attitude is everything.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Actually the dems would like to be spending/taxing current money and not future money - just ask them! All they ever propose is more taxes 'on the rich' and businesses. Of course we know who ends up paying for those taxes when they are levied against businesses. And there just isn't enough rich people to tax so businesses have to be taxed as well.

There simply isn't enough money for these fools.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Thank you Ted Cruz!! You're on a very short list of competent conservative Congressmen who demonstrate real courage in carrying out their duties. Impressive!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It's amazing what this president can do. Trillion dollar stimulus, immigration bills, gay marriage, welfare reform, spying, bugging the American public, IRS intimidation, demonizing energy, but he cannot pass a budget.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Let's put it very simply: it is a major act of patriotism to be as obstructionist as possible in relation to Obama Inc. In general, this type of behavior would be considered out of bounds, as the people's business must get accomplished. HOWEVER, anything to stop the Demsters from further deconstructing the economy - to transform the nation - is deemed worthy - http://adinakutnicki.com/2012/08/02/revealed-the-second-term-plans-of-an-obama-presidency-nothing-short-of-a-national-nightmare-commentary-by-adina-kutnicki/.

Simple as that.

Adina Kutnicki, Israel http://adinakutnicki.com/about/
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Ted Cruz is a credit to the Conservative Republicans, but a thorn in the side to the establishment Republicans. We need to throw all the support we can muster, he's the only one we have in that augest body.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Mitch McConnell needs to retire. Ted Cruz needs to take his place. And Marco Rubio needs to follow Mitch out the door and get a job with CNN or something.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Ted Cruz makes me proud to be a Texan...even though I live in Florida. I was once proud of my Republican senator from FL, no more...what a lying sack.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Cruz is a stand-out because he actually does what he pledged to do. The last time most of these other senators even thought about their oaths was when they were taking them, if then. Of course Cruz is also, objectively, a super-star.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Ted Cruz is extremely bright and determined.

As is with Trey Gowdy in the House.

Along with some other relative newcomers, they stand for sanity in the face of idiotic congressional "deal making".

(Patty Murray is dumber than a box of rocks)
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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