October 6th, 2013
11:16 AM ET
6 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 (1,411 Responses)
  1. Maggie

    His colleagues in the senate need to take this guy out before he destroys this country

    October 6, 2013 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  2. noteasilyswayed

    Vote him out the next time he comes up for election.

    October 6, 2013 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  3. Dennis

    Cruz and his fellow republicans are afraid that the ACA will eventually be a huge success and embraced by citizens. These guys are politicians and their main goal is staying in office and getting more control. If the ACA was going to be the immense failure that they say it is, they would let it fail on it's own merits. Then they could run on Democrats enacting this immense failure of a law. If they are going to such great lengths to stop it they must really think the Dems have something good going. Otherwise they would sit back and let their opponents shoot themselves in the foot and takes the next couple of election cycles. I will not say whether the ACA is going to work or not, but it is obvious to me that the republicans think it's going to work or they wouldn't be trying so hard to kill it. And why shouldn't they think it will work? It's the same exact plan that the Heritage Foundation came up with in the 90's and the Republicans championed as an alternative to Hillary Clinton's plan.

    October 6, 2013 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  4. samn

    This guy is still in an alternative universe it seems

    October 6, 2013 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  5. faesq

    For the last 72 hours I listened to Republicans rail about the Democrat that had the nerve to say that they shouldn't budge because they were "winning." John Boehner wearing his best tan and utilizing his best acting ability getting up at the podium to yell...."This isn't a damn game." So offended that someone could allude to "winning" this argument. What does Senator Cruz say today.....but that "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." Okay Mr. Speaker, lets hear you rail against Senator Cruz for having the gall to talk about "winning."

    October 6, 2013 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  6. Daniel Maddigan

    Now the tea party wants to fund one budget item at a time. Everything goes unfunded unless the tea party expressly allows funding. This gives the tea party absolute veto power over everything the government does. No Obamacare, No food stamps, No EPA, No Federal Reserve, No business regulatory agencies, No medicare, No social security, No medicaid, Absolute power over YOUR government. How's that for tyranny?

    October 6, 2013 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  7. navaJohn

    How does someone who's only been in the Senate 9 months take over the voice of Republicans there? There must be some strings being pulled in the background that we all aren't aware of.

    October 6, 2013 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  8. history leason

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

    wrong. never in history, except in the last two years has the debt ceiling EVER been used as leverage. either cruz doesn't know that history usually is the basic for the word "historically" and doesn't care – or he has revised history like the rest of these tea party imbeciles.

    October 6, 2013 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  9. saywho

    A candidate for the nut house.

    October 6, 2013 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  10. Tarek

    Paying accrued debt is and never should be used as leverage.

    October 6, 2013 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  11. mlynch5402@bresnan.net

    Cruz is all about becoming known and making a name for himself. Not about what is good for the US.

    October 6, 2013 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  12. Concerned American

    Interesting. American people scream about actual change in DC, and then when a person comes along who actually LISTENS to his/her consituents instead of special interest groups, those same American people want to burn him at the stake. So what is it you really want – actual change, or the "same old – same old"? And to the people who keep saying "It's the law!!!!" – remember that this "law" was passed at the 11th hour on CHRISTMAS EVE when most politicians were away and/or had other priorities. Kind of makes me wonder which party is the slimiest. Since then, congressional elections were held and many of these people were thrown out of office who voted for this bill. Even Harry Reid barely won re-election by the skin of his teeth, and will no doubt see his career end with the next election.

    October 6, 2013 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  13. Amarjeet

    When debt is already being serviced, increase in debt sealing is just formal with existing approved budget of last year. Cruz concept of using it as leverage for future bargaining is irrational and illogical as this brinkmanship policy is hurting governance, foreign image of US dollar as well trade and commerce. It all hurts business and industry of US with inherent instability, poor forecast & exports as well imports directly affecting the prices resulting in inflationary rates of imports.

    October 6, 2013 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  14. Jeremy

    You can not use the debt ceiling as leverage, If the US defaults on out debt terrible things will happen. We have to raise the ceiling to pay for stuff that Congress already bought. IF we do not raise the ceiling the value of the dollar will be cut in half. Our economy will suffer worse than the great depression. That will cause a world wide depression. Interest rates will sky rocket.

    October 6, 2013 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  15. Dan

    Texas, you should be ashamed of yourself. You should recall this loser if at all possible.

    October 6, 2013 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  16. lewtwo

    Ted Cruz is one of the strongest arguments for immigration reform.

    October 6, 2013 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  17. sa

    wow. daring to blow up the entire economy.

    October 6, 2013 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  18. 156dalva

    As a Canadian, I say keep this guy in the US, we don't want him in Canada. He makes our stupid politicians look like Nobel Price winners...

    October 6, 2013 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  19. Jim

    The debt ceiling is "leverage"
    That's what they called the horse head in the guy's bed in the God Father, leverage.

    October 6, 2013 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  20. Meg

    I changed my voting card to "independent" last week. I can no longer abide by what the GOP is doing here. I just can't.

    October 6, 2013 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  21. SV

    I truly think Cruz and his TeaTerrorists intend on the US defaulting and plunging into chaos. Who will survive? His corporate masters and the top 2% of Americans with good bank accounts. They can hold out for a while. This is what they've been waiting for...so when things calm down they can buy up more stuff. Folks who bought survival gear and all that ammo in fear of Obama might have been onto something all along. When we get plunged into anarchy they can say "see? we were right all along!" as they eat their MRE's and shoot black and brown people with impunity. And all along they'll still not see that they were the cause...

    October 6, 2013 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  22. Someguysarerude

    Yeah, and this is the party the wants respect. If it isn't given they'll even take disrespect which is what they're getting now.

    Wepublicans Demand Wespect
    Thweaten to Defund Democwats!

    October 6, 2013 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  23. Norma

    When are Americans going to stand up to these kind of people who are destroying our government? It's not enough damage already done? We are being hold hostages for these bullies, cynical gang that are trying to put the blame on the government. GOP and their delusional ideologies are damaging the country with such disregard for everybody!
    People should let them know this is a criminal attack on people, just to get a LAW from being implemented, just because they don't like it. Outrageous!

    October 6, 2013 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  24. NoBSplease

    Go back to Canada Cruz. Why are you trying to destroy our nation?

    October 6, 2013 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  25. Buckeye Dave

    Isn't this guy from the state that seceded on February 1, 1861 ,and tried to secede in 2013? Where does Texas find these idiots?

    October 6, 2013 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
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