Rubio threatens to hold vote hostage
March 29th, 2011
09:20 PM ET
12 years ago

Rubio threatens to hold vote hostage

Washington (CNN) - Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida threatened to vote against raising the debt ceiling unless his conditions for tax and budget reforms are met, in a Wall Street Journal op-ed set to be published Wednesday.

The freshman senator and tea party favorite said raising the limit – the legal amount the U.S. government is allowed to borrow to finance its debt – is "putting off the tough decisions until after the next election."

"We cannot afford to continue waiting. This may be our last chance to force Washington to tackle the central economic issue of our time," Rubio wrote. "If we simply raise it once again, without a real plan to bring spending under control and get our economy growing, America faces the very real danger of a catastrophic economic crisis."

Congress must reach an agreement over the debt ceiling before the United States 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. And the debate comes as members of Congress face a budget battle, with an April 8 expiration date for the bill currently funding the government.

To vote for legislation to raise the debt limit, Rubio said it either must be the last such bill or be accompanied by "a plan for fundamental tax reform, an overhaul of our regulatory structure, a cut to discretionary spending, a balanced-budget amendment and reforms to save Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid."

"Whether they admit it or not, everyone in Washington knows how to solve these problems. What is missing is the political will to do it," Rubio wrote. "Demagoguery is the last refuge of the spineless politician willing to do anything to win the next election."

Filed under: Congress • Debt • Marco Rubio
soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. Tony in Maine

    Rubio needs to be taken to the woodshed.

    Lying on the floor of the Senate and holding your breath until you get your way won't work unless you talk Chinless Mitch into doing it too.

    March 29, 2011 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  2. chill

    The debt ceiling is needed to cover expenses already budgeted for or approved for spending. So not raising it is like ordering goods you then refuse to pay for. Focus on the budget where the debate should be held and not on this necessary legislation. Grow up.

    March 29, 2011 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  3. seo

    Yes, by all means, lets destroy this countries economy even further in the name of politics. This guy does not care how much damage they do. Instead they are like little kids throwing a tantrum and saying that everyone else has to do it their way or else.

    March 29, 2011 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  4. joel bailey

    Dear sir, glad to be in your camp in the issues facing the country. if the gov't shuts down, so be it, the democrats had their shot at producing a budget to their liking, maybe the political method was to blame the newcomers for their shortcomings that were by design. unfortunately many especially democrats failed to realize when we are broke the gov't shuts down permanent, bye bye entitlements, army navy, game over, liberals have found utopia, they win we lose now lets just have a beer and let bygones be bygones, and bring out our chinese flags as they takeover ownership of the mall. our future is dim, yet lets just protect our interests at the expense of the populace. good luck on geting out of this mess Ms Pelosi

    March 29, 2011 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  5. Freedom

    Go Rubio! You are a great senator. Stay true to your values and don't let Washington change you (I am sure that you won't). May God Bless You!

    March 29, 2011 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  6. Susan

    I think spinelessi s exactly the descriptionfor Republicans who reject itax increases aspart of a way to address the deficit problem. Of course,their overriding philosophyi s that the burden should be borne by the old, the poor, the disabled and the children. We cn'tpossibly expectthe wealthy to make any sort of sacrifice.

    March 29, 2011 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  7. Texas Doc

    Bring it! Everyone but the GOPbaggers knows that if the govt. shuts down, its their fault. Buyer remorse has already set in, shutting down the govt. woiuld remind everyone why they hate them.

    March 29, 2011 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  8. john TN

    What specifically does he want to cut? How much of the defense budget? Exactly what regulations? Both sides fall short when asked specifics and it's becoming more irritating by the minute. We need to kick conservatives in the nuts, more Bush-like religiosity and middle-class stomping must not happen.

    March 29, 2011 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  9. Steve Rosset

    Yes, we do know what needs to be done. So let's find someone with the political courage to force corporations to pay their share of taxes, and get rid of tax breaks for the wealthy.

    March 29, 2011 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  10. one voice

    This CROOK is smiling all the way to the bank. Hope he chokes on the UNDER THE TABLE MILLION DOLLAR ENVELOPE he will recieve from the BILLIONAIRE KOCH BROTHERS.

    March 29, 2011 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  11. Rev Mkell,

    If you don't raise the limit you'll have to cut almost 800 million all at once! I'd start with congress' pay, health coverage, retirement and any other bennie's they have!

    March 29, 2011 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  12. GonzoinHouston

    This isn't a shutdown of government we're talking about here. If the debt ceiling is not raised, the US will soon be forced to default on its debt. And that, dear friends, is the economic Apocalypse. The Great Depression was a bull market compared to what would be.

    Don't you love these patriotic Tea Partiers?

    March 29, 2011 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  13. Bill

    A balanced-budget amendment was a great idea when Clinton left office with a SURPLUS. Guess which political party turned the surplus into massive debt? Funny how the GOP conveniently overlooks this fact every time they criticize Obama, Pelosi, and Reid.

    March 29, 2011 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  14. D McCoy

    Oh yea Sen Rubio... Let the government default or go into a shutdown. Then you can rest on your values while people starve and things collapse. I hope you'll be really happy while you still collect your paycheck...

    March 29, 2011 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  15. anthony

    Lets hold his salary hostage until he provides us with some solutions other than "holding vote hostage". these guys are all roadblock, and good for nothing.

    Ive never voted Republican, and Ive NEVER regretted it either.

    March 29, 2011 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  16. Ozarks

    Where are the jobs? That would help the american economy, oh yeah they went overseas and the corporations that packed them up got a tax break.

    400 people have over 50% of all the wealth in america and pay only 2% of the taxes.

    March 29, 2011 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  17. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    If the GOP had bothered to pay down the debt that they help put in place, then there would be less to worry about. Bush the lesser shouldn't have cut taxes, but instead should have paid down the debt and vetoed some of those spending bills that were larger than he wanted.

    March 29, 2011 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  18. California Conservative

    GREAT ! Glad to hear it Rubio. Do what needs to be done. Democrats have massively spent for two years now increasing the debt in just over TWO YEAR an unimaginable amount of well over $3 TRILLION and setting the record for spending the most in a two year period.


    March 29, 2011 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  19. tony

    We need National, rather than State elections to elect the people to run our National Government. We are the laughing stock of the civilized world because these piddling little local Hitlers are able to the sabotage the Nation as a whole to get their moronic ideas into play.

    March 29, 2011 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  20. T'sah from Virginia

    ["Demagoguery is the last refuge of the spineless politician willing to do anything to win the next election."]

    Wow – he describes it so well!!! That's how he got elected!!!!

    March 29, 2011 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  21. Steve Fielder

    "Demagoguery is the last refuge of the spineless politician willing to do anything to win the next election". What a fine quote from a grandstanding Tea Party hack like Senator Rubio, who is willing to force the U.S. Government to default on it's loans and wreck the economic recovery if his personal political agenda isn't catered to!

    March 29, 2011 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  22. Ken

    Looks like this sucker is aiming to be a one term Congressman. Go for it dude. Throw our economy back into the dump. Republicans did it last time so now it is the Tea-Publicans turn. Do it and I will personally move to Florida and vote you out of office.

    March 30, 2011 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
  23. Sue

    Marco Rubio is going to be the VP running mate in 2012--and this has the Democrats VERY frightened.

    Not only is he smart, qualified, and good looking--it turns the Democrats "diversity" games right back on them.

    We will definitely be hearing a lot more about/from Marco Rubio!!!

    March 30, 2011 12:45 am at 12:45 am |
  24. Jean-Paul Sartre

    "We cannot afford to continue waiting. This may be our last chance to force Washington to tackle the central economic issue of our time," Rubio wrote.
    As usual, Mr. Rubio is just pain WRONG.
    The Central Economic Issue of our time is the is the fact that 400 rich people in the USA have as much money as 150,000,000 middle class people in the USA; this speaks to the issue of Owners and Slaves in America today: That is the REAL CENTRAL ECONOMIC ISSUE OF OUR TIME.
    Deficits and interest on money owe on the deficit is merely a distraction, created by the Pee Party and the rest of the Republican Party to keep the rest of America in the DARK...

    March 30, 2011 12:51 am at 12:51 am |
  25. Peter Wolfe

    Marco Rubio,

    Perhaps we could take a bite out of yoru personal pay, benefits and other plush luxuries that us normal american citizens cannot have. Oh, the same with excessive military spnding estimated around double of the entire wworld. Another thing is to stop subsedizing midwest farmers in the republican districts. We could reform tax exemtpions for oil frirms or others as well. The other thing is to tax guns even more than they are already! Then, the balanced budget remissences of the gold market times prior tothe Great Depression. The issue there is that revenue streams constantly go up and down. A big deal is republicans fihting provisions on the ADA provision to have affirmative action for those not able to compete on a equal footing with the normal U.S populaion like my special interest grop the blind. Time for more business to get that small tax reduction jst to listen to it not ignore ire it. Another thing is to allow local, state and federal offices to even hire more chronically disabld people.

    March 30, 2011 02:20 am at 2:20 am |
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