October 6th, 2013
11:16 AM ET
9 years 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. FreeAmEriCa

    Cruz and his Tea Party can go back to there own state and destroy that instead of our country!

    October 6, 2013 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  2. Jim

    Everybody knows that Cruz is one of the obstructionists behind this shutdown. If the House votes to pass a clean CR at this point, after Cruz has spent so much time and energy opposing it, he's going to end up looking really bad. There's no way around that. So to protect his own political career he's willing to drive this car off a cliff. This guy is trouble, trouble.

    October 6, 2013 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  3. Sane Person

    The "fix" isnt in the debt ceiling. The fix is in not spending it in the first place. The country ALREADY owes that money, congress needs to pay the bills. Now, for the NEXT time around, stop spending additional funds. You cant pass bills that require funding, only to cry about funding them later on.

    October 6, 2013 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  4. Gary

    Obama is fighting International Terrorism and the Republicans are fighting Obama Care. Are you serious Cruz & the Team Party ? I was always taught not to complain unless you have a better argument ? What is the plan that Cruz and the Tea Party, Republicans proposing that is better than Obama Care? Get a life and get out of ours.

    October 6, 2013 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  5. Robert Gertz

    It's untrue to state the President has paid no attention to the nation's finances. Under him, the deficit has dropped and continued to do so.

    October 6, 2013 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  6. jim

    Time to leave the republican party if no one has the balls to stand up to this jerk

    October 6, 2013 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  7. Mick Burke

    Wacko-Bird sits on the old gum tree
    Merry merry king of the Tea-Baggers is he.
    Laugh, Wacko-Bird, laugh, Wacko-Bird,
    Gay your life must be!

    Wacko-Bird sits on the old gum tree,
    Cutting all the Obama Care he can see.
    Stop Wacko-Bird, stop Wacko-Bird
    Save some health care for me!

    Wacko-Bird sits on the old gum tree,
    Cutting all the Federal Workers he can see.
    Laugh Wacko-Bird, laugh Wacko-Bird
    Those Workers will be voting “Big D” !

    October 6, 2013 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  8. Jim Angone

    Ted Cruz is a fraud, a dangerous McCarthy-type and the Republican party is so lost and desperate that i cant see any reasonable person voting Republican until they change their ways, which is appearing to be a near impossibility going forward.
    I am a registered Independent and cant say that I would give a second thought to ever voting for a Republican unless they start showing empathy for the poor and disenfranchised. At this point they are the most selfish, whining, angry people I have ever witnessed. Each time I come out of church and hearing the Sunday sermon from my priest I get to thinking of my responsibility to think of others in our society.
    Who could turn their back on providing food stamps for the poor, for denying the uninsured health insurance.
    I think it is becoming clear that the Angry White Man and Woman can be found in the Republican party. They seem to hate and complain about others more than anybody I have ever witnessed before.
    Aside from all I stated above, I think they are playing bad politics and should be ashamed of themselves for holding the US Govt and people hostage because they dont like the Affordable Healthcare Act, a law that was passed honestly and legally.

    October 6, 2013 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  9. Logic N LA

    Just Clarifying- Two-sided debate requires facts and most conservative posting here do not know those. They know what bloggers tell them. they know what FOX news tells them or what they hear form friends. While I am not saying liberals are all better, I do ask that you take a tally when reading the posts. Pro-right rants vs. Pro left. Hade the left been opening it's mouth more, the issue of tea party misinformation would be gone. Case in point- Cruz's interview and comments. So few facts are true or provable but no one calls him on in.
    Fact the ACA- (not Obamacare because his proposal was compromised out of existence) is already working. Even collage age students are signing up once they saw the prices to protect themselves. Fact- 8.7 million people looked at the site in the first few days- most happy with what they saw. Fact – states not taking the Medicaid money are only putting their citizens at risk or causing their own state taxes to go up. Fact the shutdown ( two weeks early by the way- we still have money) is actually costing us money and will cost more when ended because we are going to retro-actively pay people affected by it and we will have fallen behind on work loads. This is partisan- it's logic and one side does not understand that word.

    October 6, 2013 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  10. Connie

    Ted Cruz needs to get in touch with reality. I would like to see him survive a week in a poor, disadvantaged woman and come up against the roadblocks that the Republicans have heaped upon the disadvantaged. Let him be the poor child who is abused because he want unwanted with the system put in place to help him scrapped. He has no clue of what it is like to be poor and unable to afford the necessities of life which include health care and access to birth control. Cruz is out of touch and Texas will be better off when they realize it.

    October 6, 2013 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  11. sisterchef

    "The debt ceiling historically has been among the best leverage that Congress has to rein in the executive," Cruz said. This is not just wrong, it is inaccurate. But it is also very telling...these conservative fanatics can't stand Obama...that is what this is all about. Boehner must rein THEM in and regain control of the GOP before bigotry and foolishness ruins us all.

    October 6, 2013 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  12. dorado

    what a liar. repealing the ACA will add to the deficit, so it has nothing to do with the debt ceiling.

    October 6, 2013 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  13. Uncle Benny

    Keep it up, Cruz. When the US defaults for the first time in history, you're going to wear it, you and your cowardly tool Boehner. 2014 is not that far off.

    October 6, 2013 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  14. Truck

    @nymature=your state has the most loons next to Kommifornia....

    October 6, 2013 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  15. lily

    Wow. Why doesn't he go to a third world country and be a dictator. This is a democratic country and 75% of us don't agree with you. What is going on with the Republican party, will someone do something before this party fall apart?

    October 6, 2013 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  16. Asturiano

    Nazi coup in the making

    October 6, 2013 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  17. ABarker

    I'm from Texas and I'm proud of Ted Cruz. If Americans don't stand up and stop the dems, America will cease to exist before long. History shows that the spend, spend, spend mentality of the dem/liberal ideology does nothing more than enslave the people to the government. Why anyone would believe that repeating the mistakes of our past (i.e. the "new deal") will have a different result is beyond me.

    October 6, 2013 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  18. casual observer

    Have anybody thought of contacting Harvard and ask them to revoke the degree of this moron? He's a fraud, and puppet What is more insulting is that CNN provided him the airwaves to spew his ignorance...

    October 6, 2013 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  19. Hames

    As a non-American I find it unbelievable that you have a system of government that can grind to a halt and stop paying public workers on the whim of 1 faction of 1 party (I notice the congressmen still get paid).

    I also can't believe that the so called 'Christian' right Republicans won't support Obamacare as they may have to pay a bit more in tax to help the elderly and disabled and the terminally ill. What ever happened to not walking by on the other side?

    October 6, 2013 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  20. Clay

    Crazy man needs to go back to Canada. He is not intelligent enough to negotiate with President Obama. He is a small dumb radical you will self implode. What a knucklehead .

    October 6, 2013 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  21. Hiruu

    Thank God for This clown, Cruz...in 2014, these extremists are going bye-bye!

    October 6, 2013 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  22. Patriot

    Cruz even looks like 'Joe' McCarthy... There is indeed evil in this world.

    October 6, 2013 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  23. comet

    Good bye Republicans/ See you at the Polls for the last time!

    October 6, 2013 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  24. Tracey

    This has turned into a pi$&@ng contest at the expense of the American people. It's time for Boehner to be the leader he was chosen by his party to be. Obamacare is law. You lost that battle, get over it and move on.

    October 6, 2013 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  25. realitycheckplease

    I reposted this because it is spot on. Thank you DMR!


    Sen. Cruz once again prove the interests of the GOP\TP are not the citizens of the United States. Cruz has made it clear that he, nor the GOP \ Tea Party folks understand how the U.S. budgeting process works. Cruz and his Tea Party buddies would rather cripple the U.S. economy with their largely false and misleading rhetoric, than do their job. The ACA is settled law, end of story. If one does not want to be a part of the ACA, the solution is simple, pay the penalty tax. That said, if you get seriously ill or hurt, just who should step in to help you with the bills? There is a well-established process for repealing or changing a law and the GOP \ TP refuse to follow it.

    The entire Federal shut down and the looming debt ceiling mess are without question the fault of the GOP \ TP. The GOP has let a small number of right wing extremist take control of the party and this is the mess they create. The solution to the U.S. debt is actually very basic, roll back the tax rate to that prior to the G.W. Bush tax cuts. Those tax cuts did not benefit middle America, they benefited the wealthy. It is time for that extreme benefit to end. I would also take a long look at taxing off shore income, and closing other tax loopholes that only the very rich can use. That too needs to end. The Social Security issues that might be looming in several years can be nipped now. Remove the cap on the Social Security tax. (The Social Security tax rate is 6.2 percent on income under $113,700 through the end of 2013. The Medicare tax rate is 1.45 percent of all income.)

    October 6, 2013 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
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