October 16th, 2013
09:13 AM ET
9 years ago

Republican senator wants Cruz to stay out of the way in debt vote

Washington (CNN) – Sen. Kelly Ayotte said Wednesday she hopes her Republican colleague Sen. Ted Cruz doesn't try to hold up a Senate vote to end the government shutdown and raise the debt limit before Thursday's deadline to avoid default.

"It's up to him. I would hope he wouldn't," the New Hampshire Republican said on CNN's "New Day." "Senators can cause to you run out the clock, but what's he trying to gain at this point? I would hope that whatever comes forward, that we would allow a vote on it as soon as possible."

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Cruz was at the forefront of a Republican strategy to tie anti-Obamacare provisions to must-pass spending legislation last month, a strategy Senate Democrats warned they would reject. Ultimately the move led to the ongoing government shutdown, which started taking effect October 1.

Lawmakers are now trying to reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling in one package, but as Congress nears Thursday's deadline, it appears increasingly unlikely they will pass legislation in time.

Ayotte, who's been part of a bipartisan group of senators working to reach a deal, said the Obamacare tactic was "an ill-conceived strategy from the beginning, not a winning strategy."

"I don't think it was worth it, that's why I didn't support it," she told CNN's Kate Bolduan.

A spokesman for Cruz tells Dana Bash that he is not commenting on a hypothetical and will not say what he will do until the senator sees a final deal.

Cruz had a dinner meeting Monday night with a group of House conservatives, and discussed the emerging Senate deal and how they may react to it. The Texas Republican has been having conversations and meetings with various House conservatives throughout the impasse - something that has rankled House GOP leaders.

Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, was at the meeting, which took place at a Tex-Mex restaurant on Capitol Hill called Tortilla Coast, but he didn't reveal too many details about what was discussed at the dinner table.

"I'll say this, he made some strong, good points. He's taken a leadership position on this from a fiscally responsible and constitutional perspective," King said Wednesday on "New Day."

- CNN Chief Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash and Senior Producer Kevin Bohn contributed to this report.

Filed under: Congress • Debt • Kelly Ayotte • New Hampshire • Ted Cruz
soundoff (37 Responses)
  1. Babyboomer

    One man from one state holding the entire country hostage. Ludicrous. I know it's allowable but there should be some sort of provision when it's determined that he/she is bent on destroying the country.

    October 16, 2013 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  2. Silence DoGood

    This is America. Cruz had his moment (or many moments) in the limelight to state his case. If there really is a huge groundswell of Tea Party folks out there (doubt it), then more Cruz's will be elected and ACA will be overturned LEGALLY someday.

    But if ACA gets by with website glitches and the sky does not fall, I would hope the average voter will see that the dire predictions were unfounded and we can join the rest of the civilized world that has decent health care for all.

    October 16, 2013 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  3. Data Driven


    "Let new faces with fresh new ideas prevail. OUT WITH THE OLD AND FORWARD WITH THE NEW. Tea partiers are no different then Progressive Democrats, just different party lines."

    The "tea party" has been in Congress for less than 3 years. They are the "fresh new faces". Doubtless, you cheered when they were elected, because: Republicans.

    Moaning and groaning about term limits, and comparing the "tea party" to liberals in Congress who have never tried extortion to extract public policy priorities from the majority, doesn't absolve the Republicans from responsibility, or your responsibility for supporting them heretofore.

    October 16, 2013 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  4. Rudy NYC

    ck McDaniel

    The GOP doesn't want to admit, that they are caving in, and allowing Obama to have his way with the country.......and continue to expand the debt, at a dangerous rate.
    Actually, the GOTP doesn't want to admit that not only did they lose the 2012 election, but that the majority has rejected the Tea Party's hard line ideology. The will of the American voters and the democratic process must be respected.

    October 16, 2013 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  5. b

    Republican leaders chose to embrace these tea pots in order to "fire up the base" to win elections. Now, they are a raging wildfire burning out of control incinerating their party.

    October 16, 2013 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  6. lolo

    I bet Cruz is not giving up his perks, he just wants the American people to do it. This nut should be impeached already. If he was living in Cuba he never would have gotton this far with his BS that is for sure, because Castro would have nailed him from the start. Boehner has no balls and needs to lay off the drinking bottle. I knew he was a wimp when he was crying in a fetal position on the Barbara Walters interview with him. Such a punk in more ways than one.

    October 16, 2013 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  7. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    We aren't conforming to certain "hate thy neighbor" media guidelines. Thus we and our viewpoints are not important.

    Same applies to politics. Those who go to Congress and actually DO what they were sent to do (i.e. keep our government running) are silenced by those who use both our government AND our media to their advantage.
    Aye. True and true, and deplorable.

    October 16, 2013 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  8. Steve Ramsey

    Ted Cruz is the reincarnation of Joseph McCarthy.

    October 16, 2013 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  9. rs

    Rick McDaniel

    The GOP doesn't want to admit, that they are caving in, and allowing Obama to have his way with the country.......and continue to expand the debt, at a dangerous rate.
    First of all Rick, the President has the Constitution on his side while the GOP is to put it politely operating outside the norms of government. Second, if the GOP would end this useless "starve the beast" mentality and end the Bush tax cuts for the rich and place the upper bracket at something appropriate- like at least 50%, stop supplying big business with loopholes and incentives (like the medical device tax they want to scrap), and back away from defense contractors and privatization (that ALWAYS costs more), perhaps that would be a good way to start paying down the debt.
    Finally, the GOP has to cave: they've lost, their reputationand polularity is in tatters, and their only other move is to cause yet another fiscal collapse.

    October 16, 2013 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  10. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    This is what happens when you let extremists take control of your party. Who's to say Rafael The Canadian won't hold up the vote? He doesn't answer to any of you in the Senate. His boss' are the Heritage Foundation and the Koch Brothers.

    October 16, 2013 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  11. Data Driven


    "The points that you and I make each and every time we try to converse with one another and are not allowed to by the powers that be ... IS the current media narrative"

    My sincere congratulations on getting that comment through. TRUTH.

    October 16, 2013 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  12. newsdreamer

    Sen. Kelly Ayotte, as bad as the Tea Party, she continues to support Boehner and Cantor in whatever they say or do. This woman like to be in the spot light at any news conference. But she is not for the nation or people

    October 16, 2013 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
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