October 6th, 2013
11:16 AM ET
10 months ago

Cruz: Use debt ceiling debate for leverage

(CNN) - Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas linked raising the debt ceiling to funding the Affordable Care Act in an exclusive interview Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union” with Candy Crowley.

“The debt ceiling historically has been among the best leverage that Congress has to rein in the executive," Cruz said.

He listed three objectives as Republicans approach the debt ceiling.

"No. 1, we should look for some significant structural plan and reduce government spending. No. 2, we should avoid new taxes, and No. 3, we should look for ways to mitigate the harms from Obamacare."

"Since 1978, we raised the debt ceiling 58 times," said Cruz. "Twenty times Congress attached very specific and stringent requirements, many of the most significant spending restraints. So the president's demand to jack up the nation's credit card with no limits, no constraints - it's not reasonable."

The United States will reach its borrowing limit on October 17.

The government temporarily shut down on October 1 after Republicans in the House held up the passage of a spending bill, which would allow the government to pay its bills, in an attempt to get changes or delayed implementation of the Affordable Care Act, President Obama's signature health care initiative.

Cruz is seen by some as the driving force behind the government shutdown, as he has urged fellow Republicans in the House to continue demanding that any plan to fund the government be tied to defunding the president's sweeping health care initiative.

Cruz said that letting Obamacare go further into effect "would destroy the private health care system." He blamed Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for refusing to take up a series of piecemeal bills passed by the House to fund certain parts of the government. Democrats in the Senate and the White House say they will only pass a "clean" spending bill that does not carry restrictions or changes to the health care law.

The tea party favorite has been a target of blame from both Democrats and some Republicans for the shutdown standstill.

"The president and certainly Harry Reid and Senate Democrats have not been shy and using all sorts of inflammatory attacks," Cruz said about receiving criticism from Democrats and some within his own party.

"The fact that you're seeing those attacks, I think, is indicative of the fact that we're winning the argument. Obamacare isn't working."

According to a CBS News poll released this week, 72% of Americans disapprove of the shutdown, and more Americans blame congressional Republicans than blame Obama.

Despite this, Cruz doesn't think his actions have taken a negative toll on his party's image.

"Not remotely," Cruz said. "But I also think far too many people are worried about politics."


Filed under: Government Shutdown • national debt • Ted Cruz
soundoff (1,410 Responses)
  1. PAllen

    "No. 1, we should look for some significant structural plan and reduce government spending. No. 2, we should avoid new taxes, and No. 3, we should look for ways to mitigate the harms from Obamacare." ..... I actually agree with his first two points, though I think a moderate increase in taxes on corporations and capital gains are in order, but his third point is BS because it hasn't doen any damage to the public, and won't it will affect profits for the insurance industry and outrageous doctor/healthcare fees .... he makes this point that the ACA "would destroy the private health care system." ... so he is telling you right there what he is all about protecting the wealth, not protecting the public. It's right there in his own words

    October 7, 2013 04:06 am at 4:06 am |
  2. sandvichmancer

    @James_in_Canada
    Yes. It does.
    He's said he's going to renounce his dual citizenship, and that'll be good enough.
    But it actually isn't.

    October 7, 2013 04:23 am at 4:23 am |
  3. SenatorCruz_is NOTan American!

    Suresh Chari said:

    A single idiot is being allowed to bring down a mighty nation..

    Well said, Suresh!

    A single Cuban who was born in Canada, probably taught to hate America by his Castro-loving father, faked his way into the US Congress, and is being aided by the Tea Traitors in bringing down this mighty nation...

    Way to go, GOP! You bunch of cowards!!!

    October 7, 2013 04:23 am at 4:23 am |
  4. Robert

    The Speaker continues to say untying Obamacare from funding the Government is NOT NEGOTIABLE. And in the same breath he laments over and over that the President won't negotiate with him. C'mon John! Leave the absurd to Ted. And we expect better from you.Your House passed a budget with a deficit last year. Implicit in that was an authorization to borrow money to pay that deficit...no? If not, was it the defence spending you authorized that you didn't intend to pay for? Tell us. You're begging the President to use section 4 of the 14th Amendment. If you won't do your job then someone else should.

    October 7, 2013 04:39 am at 4:39 am |
  5. jj

    This guy is a republican in the Senate. The majorities at odds, causing the shutdown, are House Republicans and Senate Democrats. Technically he isn't responsible for the shutdown. Just sayin.

    October 7, 2013 04:58 am at 4:58 am |
  6. DK

    Are there any laws or procedures to remove representatives from the House or Senators just as there are laws in place to impeach the President? If there are, then Congress should move to remove both Ted Cruz and John Boehner from the House. Especially, Ted Cruz who claims that his constituents want him to defund Obamacare. But, he is holding the country hostage in his failed attempts to defund Obamacare when Obamacare is the law. Congress passed it, the Supreme court ruled that it was constitutional, and President Obama won national elections.

    Ted Cruz is self-centered' he is only concerned about what his constituents want him to do only in his little constituency. People who are elected to US congress must think of the US as a country and not be petty minded thinking only about their constituents. Majority of the polls suggest Republicans are to be blamed for the shut down and possible default. These Tea party folks must be removed from the House and the Senate.

    October 7, 2013 04:59 am at 4:59 am |
  7. Bob

    If the GOP really wants to get rid of the ACA, then work to have it repealed. That is how laws are supposed to work. ACA has passed in the House of Reps, passed in the Senate, signed by the President and with stood a challenge in the Supreme Court. It is the law of the land. If the GOP wants it repealed just write a law that say the ACA is repealed. Then get it passed.

    Nooooo they want to hold all of Government hostage, destroy the counties credit rating (which will cost us all) on the slim hope that they can extort a change from the majority. What a bunch stupid bullies. In 13 months we get to change them out. 435 seats in the House go on the block, and 33 seats in the Senate. Time to get these guys gone, clearly they don't know how to legislate.

    October 7, 2013 05:29 am at 5:29 am |
  8. ME

    What happened when the Ted Cruz Interview began?

    Remote Please...Clcik

    October 7, 2013 05:41 am at 5:41 am |
  9. jboh

    This guy is a self-serving rabble-rouser. He is more likely looking to boost Cruz Inc, the way Snooty Newt did. The TEA/GOP treason needs to be called out for what it is. Long past time to flush the TEA pot.

    October 7, 2013 05:47 am at 5:47 am |
  10. downwithnazis

    Okay, here's a negotiating tool. Democrats agree to put off implementing the law for one year. Tea Party agrees to retire from congress for that year.

    October 7, 2013 05:57 am at 5:57 am |
  11. Jason

    Paging Joe McCarthy. Pagin Joe McCarthy.

    October 7, 2013 06:02 am at 6:02 am |
  12. Tigerflower

    Destroy the private health system? The affordable care program gives insurance companies a license to print money. Is there any legal way this nut case can be removed from office before his term is up?

    October 7, 2013 06:13 am at 6:13 am |
  13. alno28

    Cruz is the greatest threat to America and the biggest terrorist.

    October 7, 2013 06:20 am at 6:20 am |
  14. Tim

    Congress holds the purse strings, all of congress, not just the senate. If the executive wants money to implement anything they must get it from the house and the senate, the sooner that is understood, the sooner the negotiations can start. The affordable care act was passed with no republican support, meaning it would be defunded as soon as republicans gained the house or the senate, thats what happens when you attempt to force legislation through with no bipartisan support, this is not new, and everyone who is acting shocked either does not get it, or has been blind to politics their entire life. Cruz is not the only one posturing, laws must be FUNDED and the president needs support of the entire congress to get that done, he must negotiate, or the affordable care act will fail completely. Cruz only has to speak for the 20 mil constituents in his home state, meaning national polls reguarding his popularity mean nothing really, the president is on a second term and unless he can ensure democratic control of both houses and the white house his signature legislation will fall by the wayside, so he must either gain support or somehow ensure a democratic president and congress after the 2014 and 2016 elections. The ACA is about raising revenue for the government anyway, it is not about helping americans get real healthcare. A $10,000 deductible on an insurance plan that someone is getting subsidized to $300 per year is just as unpayable as a $100,000 medical bill, and insurance companies do not cover you until that deductible is payed, so unless you can fork over the $10,000 deductible, the taxpayers will still be footing the bill for $100,000 in medical bills.Healthcare can be reformed, but not by masquerading a tax in reform clothing.

    October 7, 2013 06:30 am at 6:30 am |
  15. Andrewmag166

    Cruz for president!

    October 7, 2013 06:37 am at 6:37 am |
  16. Brian

    say whatever you want about the approach, but remember the facts about Reed(D) and Obama (D) who are the ONLY reasons why there is no deal. (1) Refused to defund obamacare (2) refused to delay obamacare (3) refused to give up the perks themselves enjoy and get the same deal as WE THE PEOPLE. You can say (1) and (2) are justified, now explain to me why the laws DO NOT APPLY TO THEM? Their greed the the ONLY REASON folks are getting these paid vacations.

    October 7, 2013 06:51 am at 6:51 am |
  17. bdby

    DUMP OBAMACARE:
    This is where the rubber meets the road.
    Here is the reason why. My wife just did here benefits for the next year which I am on as a spouse and our vision and dental payments did not double but they TRIPLED !!!
    Just what will it cost when all the other taxes and such kick in??
    The government should have left “Well enough” alone.
    This law must be repealed in its entirety.

    October 7, 2013 06:55 am at 6:55 am |
  18. akis vassilleiou

    you can downsize government by: reducing military budget, remove subsidies from multinationals, remove protection barriers from big pharma, remove subsidies from big farma, stop the flow of billions to banks, reduce the red tape etc.

    October 7, 2013 06:56 am at 6:56 am |
  19. leah

    Republicans will lose the House after all this. They have already lost ground as a national party – just a regional party at best now & are trying to throw that away too.

    Folks, make no mistake, we are seeing the self-inflicted death of the GOP here.

    October 7, 2013 07:04 am at 7:04 am |
  20. veep

    The Shutdown was engineered by the same Spendy Republicans that started the War in Iraq for Oil Rights and crashed the Economy during September of 2008.

    Mr. Cruz is a fraud.

    October 7, 2013 07:06 am at 7:06 am |
  21. mark

    "DC is not listening to the people", a direct quote of the poster child of hypocrisy, Ted Cruz. 72% of the people polled do not want a shutdown! What part of 3/4ths of the people not wanting a shutdown doesn't he understand?

    October 7, 2013 07:07 am at 7:07 am |
  22. Nicdy3

    Ted Cruz is essentially a domestic terrorist, as his narcissistic antics could actually collapse both the U.S. and global economies. President Obama was overwhelmingly reelected by a public that knew full well he intended to implement the ACA. The "defund Obamacare" platform was defeated in both the popular vote and the electoral college. I thought the United States didn't negotiate with terrorists.

    October 7, 2013 07:11 am at 7:11 am |
  23. Anonymous

    He is delusional. He has weakened his party, and is choosing to lead it down a path that will only make it more unpopular. I have no idea why people follow him. He is not charismatic on screen.

    October 7, 2013 07:18 am at 7:18 am |
  24. Fred

    Teabaggers – the Koch brothers gift that keeps destroying this country. People need to know the Koch brothers' father was a founding member of the subversive John Birch Society. Look it up and see what they stand for. That is the hidden side of the teabaggers.

    October 7, 2013 07:20 am at 7:20 am |
  25. CheCulo

    This guy and other Tea Party zealots are what is wrong with this country. Hope you enjoyed your time as Speaker Boehner!!

    October 7, 2013 07:22 am at 7:22 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57