Washington (CNN) - Republican Sen. John Cornyn said he will not vote to raise the debt ceiling unless it’s accompanied by systematic reforms to address long-term spending and the national debt.
“That's the price that's going to have to be paid, systemic reforms, in order to get Republican support for raising the debt ceiling, otherwise I think you are going to see Democrats having to do that all by themselves,” Cornyn said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
The Texas senator and member of the Senate Budget Committee also voiced his support for a balanced budget amendment to the United States Constitution as a way to ensure the federal government lives within its means “instead of spending money we don’t have.”
Democratic Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia said tying a balanced budget amendment to the debt limit could create “financial havoc and crisis.” Instead, Warner said the country needs a long-term plan that will bring down spending and chip away at the debt.
“Let’s get out of this small ball box and let’s go ahead and take on these tough issues around defense spending, around entitlements, around tax reform,” Warner told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley. “I think we’re going to get that plan moved forward.”
Congress must reach an agreement over the debt ceiling before the U.S. reaches its legal borrowing limit of $14.29 trillion in April or May. Members of both parties say the country must address its fiscal issues but disagree over the cuts needed to tackle the rising debt.
Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida reiterated his pledge outlined in an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal Wednesday, saying he would vote against an increase in the debt limit unless this is the last such bill before Congress or it is accompanied by “meaningful reforms that put us on a path towards fiscal sanity.”
“If all we do is go in there in three, four weeks or in a couple of months and extend the debt limit again and do nothing else, the world’s going to look at us and say America and its political leadership is not serious about dealing with this incredible issue and the fact that their government continues to spend money it doesn’t have,” Rubio said on “Fox News Sunday.”
Warner, however, questioned the rationale for anyone to oppose raising the debt ceiling.
“It just frightens the heck out of me that anyone responsible would say, let's go ahead and light the fuse that might create the next economic meltdown,” Warner said.
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