Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
August 28, 2015

Cruz Calls Out GOP Leaders as Dishonest on Debt Issue

(Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Ted Cruz, R-Texas, ripped his fellow GOP senators on conservative talk radio, taking a bit of a victory lap for forcing a politically tough vote to lift the debt ceiling and avoid a default.

“Why is Congress at a 13 percent approval rating?” Cruz asked on the “Mark Levin Show” Thursday. “Because people don’t like to be lied to.”

His comments came after a dramatic vote in the Senate Wednesday. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., was forced to scramble to find at least five Republican votes to cut off debate on the debt ceiling bill cleared by the House Tuesday. (See our post on the six senators who appear to have changed their votes.)

Cruz mocked Republicans for allowing the bill to advance and suggested they are being dishonest.

“I recently had my staff print out a list of three pages of Republican senators — I might note all the people that are running around the press saying nasty things about me — saying ‘We will stand on the debt ceiling and fight for it.’ And then a few months later, it’s like they think the American people are just a bunch of rubes, that we don’t remember what they say.”

Cruz added, “Every one of those senators who’s angry when they go back home, they tell every one of their constituents to stop it, but they don’t actually want to do what they are saying.”

The debt ceiling legislation was a political stinker for Republicans because it was clean, meaning it did not include any extraneous provisions on which the GOP could claim a victory in exchange for their vote. That was because House Republicans could not agree on a concession sufficient to attract a majority of House Republican votes and passed a clean bill almost entirely with Democratic votes. (See a breakdown here.)

After the House acted on the clean bill, Senate Republicans had held out hoped that an agreement could be worked out to pass the debt bill with one simple majority vote, thereby allowing all Senate Republicans to vote against the bill, but still having it pass with the 55 votes that the Senate controls.

But Cruz, who has increasingly butted heads with GOP leadership, made it known that he would object to any such arrangement.

“Was every senator in the Senate going to consent to allow a clean debt ceiling, to allow [President] Barack Obama to get a blank check to raise our debt while doing nothing about spending with just 51 votes?” Cruz asked Levin. “Now there were an awful lot of Republican senators who thought that was perfect because they could all vote ‘no’ and go home and tell their constituents ‘see, I voted no, I did the right thing.’”

Cruz, a favorite of the grass-roots conservative tea party movement, said he roundly rejected the idea, which he cast as a ruse.

“If your ask of me is will I consent to allow [Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.] to do this on 51 votes the answer is no. I will vote ‘no’ at every stage against it because it’s irresponsible, because it’s wrong, because we are bankrupting our children,” Cruz continued. “And Republicans’ heads exploded.”

He said that many Republicans were advocating for the 51-vote threshold on the bill, and were upset at the prospect of having to take the vote.

“An awful lot of the Republicans wanted exactly what Barack Obama wanted … which was to raise the debt ceiling [without reining in spending], but they wanted to be able to tell what they view as their foolish, gullible constituents back [home] they didn’t do it and they’re mad because by [my] refusing to consent to that they had to come out in the open and admit what they are doing and nothing upsets them more,” Cruz said.

The lambasting of his party comes as Cruz is eyeing a 2016 White House bid and traveling over the recess to early-voting states for the presidential primary.

Cruz went after McConnell over his voiced support for the Budget Control Act, which included a decade of automatic spending cuts to provide a dollar-for-dollar spending offset for the 2011 debt ceiling increase.

“If you look at the Budget Control Act, which I might note that Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell has gone on great lengths how the Budget Control Act was this great act of virtue and principle. Now they just threw it all overboard about a month ago, but right up until that point, it was a great act of virtue and principle.”

In December, Congress passed a bipartisan, two-year budget agreement negotiated Senate Budget Chairwoman Patty Murray, D-Wash., and House Budget Chairman Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., that would stop two years of the automatic spending cuts, about $63 billion, and saves about $85 billion over the next 10 years.

McConnell voted for the BCA and as momentum was growing to address the automatic spending cuts, which would hurt defense and other priorities, he praised the cuts because they were in the law and guaranteed to happen. He voted against the Murray-Ryan budget deal.

For roughly two years, Republicans have been divided over a strategy to achieve their political and policy goals.

Cruz has led the effort to use points of leverage that had been decided by the leadership to be counterproductive, such as his campaign to defund Obamacare, which resulted in a partial government shutdown in October.

Prior to the shutdown, mainstream Republicans had said that rather than risk a shutdown, their better point of leverage would have been getting a concession in exchange for addressing the debt ceiling.

Comments (46)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

author email

  1. Sir Kodiak

    Feb. 14, 2014
    3:24 p.m.

    Cruz is wrong about essentially everything when it comes to what decisions we should be making as to the direction of our country, but he’s not wrong that there’s a lot of Republicans senators who know why it’s important to raise the debt ceiling, want the debt ceiling raised, but aren’t willing to educate their constituents as to its necessity and therefore want to obfuscate the process. Of course, if you’re cynical, Cruz knows this as well as anyone else, he’s just more willing to throw bombs at the members of his party who are willing to due the dirty vote on behalf of the rest.

    • ed sitton

      Feb. 14, 2014
      3:54 p.m.

      I wonder which policy effecting the direction of our country you are talking about. Is Cruz wrong that the central government has become too large. Is he wrong that we cannot continue to spend more money than we take in and must stop weakening our own currency and borrowing from our enemies? Is he wrong that Obamacare will bankrupt the nation and destroy our healthcare system?(the CBO doesn’t think so) Is he wrong that democrats are bent on permanently destroying our nation and many republicans are more interested in getting re-elected than they are in stopping them from doing it? Is he wrong about the IRS targeting Obama’s political opposition? Is he wrong about the government spying on everyday citizens? Is he wrong when he accuses Obama and Hillary of sitting on their hands while 4 Americans died in Benghazi and then lied to the american people to cover up their deed? Is he wrong to accuse Obama of intentionally lying to America when he told them they could keep their doctor and their insurance? I understand that you think you’re smarter than the rest of us, but just exactly what justification IS there to indiscriminately raise the debt limit when Obama has proven time and time again that he will spend every dollar at his disposal….and then borrow more. It doesn’t take much brains to figure out that you cannot continue to make that
      stupid mistake. Everyone knows that, even democrat think tanks are starting to warn about the coming crisis with the debt. The “republican” senators who voted “yea” are not heros willing to do the dirty work, they are political cowards who love their careers more than their country.

      • stafford123

        Feb. 14, 2014
        5:24 p.m.

        Yes, he is wrong about all of those things. But most importantly, he and you are absolutely wrong that the debt limit is about new spending. It is about the spending that Congress authorized in prior years. Congress. The President cannot spend without approval from Congress. And once Congress has approved the spending, it is Congress’ duty to provide the funds to pay those bills.
        The rest of your screed is simply Tea Party talking points without any basis in facts.

      • Sir Kodiak

        Feb. 14, 2014
        6:32 p.m.

        He’s wrong on all of those except government spying, which is one of those things that people to only be right about when a member of the opposing party is in power.

        Anyways, the debt limit is increased in order to pay for spending mandated by Congress. If you want the federal government to spend less (a bad idea, but I get you disagree), get Congress to mandate less spending. Blaming President Obama suggests a real lack of understanding of how appropriations work.

        Further, I don’t really care what “Democratic think tanks” say, I’m more concerned with what reputable economists say, and they say we should be spending more in order to encourage economic growth and lower unemployment. I’d be happy to pay for that with higher taxes (knowing full well I’m in the tax bracket that would bear the brunt), but it turns out one of our political parties only cares about the debt when they can use it as an excuse to drive down spending (the actual goal).

      • Raylusk

        Feb. 14, 2014
        10:56 p.m.

        The CBO said no such thing about ObamaCare bankrupting the country. If fact they specifically said it would reduce the deficit. He might not be wrong about we spend more than we should but he is wrong about where spending should be controlled and that is at the budget. You know the one that just passed in January. I could go on but you will just rant on.

  2. Jake McCandles

    Feb. 14, 2014
    3:49 p.m.

    This shows what gutless slimes these RINOs are. Where was Lindsey? Oh thats right he’s up for re-election and a Thanksgiving date with McCain on Brokeback Bunyon!

    • Winston Blake

      Feb. 14, 2014
      8:45 p.m.

      After 30 million Egyptians took to the streets and deposed Morsi, those two ássclowns went to Egypt and campaigned for the Muslim Brotherhood…

  3. Spencer Wong

    Feb. 14, 2014
    5:19 p.m.

    The only one treating Americans like rubes is Cruz. Reigning in spending is done when the budget is negotiated. Not raising the debt ceiling unless you can squeeze out some sort of concession is the equivalent of an individual taking out a loan to buy a car, then refusing to make payments on the loan unless the creditor gives you a free set of tires.

    • opinionated1234

      Feb. 18, 2014
      1:45 p.m.

      Go back to the Progressive Socialist site SPENCER WONG! You are part of our problem of the uninformed morons in this nation! You have forgotten that this president doesn’t negotiate! And he by issuing executive orders he is ignoring the vote of the American People….I sent a person to represent my vote in Congress and the Senate. By not negotiating he is nullifying my vote! There are 3 EQUAL branches of government. Please take note of the word EQUAL. He is not the King!

  4. Ronald Hagler

    Feb. 14, 2014
    6:27 p.m.

    Now I know why Obama was re-elected…..the idiots on this site are living proof that many people are simply too dumb to have the right to vote. Sir Kodiak shows pure ignorance in stating that raising the debt ceiling is a necessity. Poor ole’ stafford123 believes the vote on raising the debt ceiling is about spending. People, it is called “raising the debt ceiling” because it is about borrowing: i.e., going further into DEBT! You see, the “give-away” is the word “DEBT”, the meaning of which is “something owed” or “ the state of owing something”. In the case of our government it is money, currency and gold that we owe foreign governments. By voting to “raise” the “debt ceiling”, Congress has given Obama Carte Blanche privileges to spend money that we do not have. There are only two ways a government can generate the funds to spend: raising taxes or borrowing from foreign countries. With a current debt of over 17 trillion and an over-stressed, under-paid working American populous, the better choice would be to curb spending, but, Obama has shown no signs of letting up on his over-zealous spending; as is witnessed by his abundance of vacations, official visits to countries we have no need to visit and the constant traveling by Michelle and her relatives. Let us not forget that we, the American taxpayer, are feeding, housing and clothing Michelle Obama’s mother; which is unprecedented in American history. Obama is far from frugal and Congress just approved his abominable spending tactics.

    • Sir Kodiak

      Feb. 14, 2014
      6:36 p.m.

      If you had access to the sorts of interest rates that the federal government receives, you’d be out of your mind not to take every dollar you could and invest it in something that would earn you future returns. This is what people do when they take out a loan to go to college, buy a house, or start a business. And we know what this is for the federal government: infrastructure, education, research, and other investments in our future.

      • Ronald Hagler

        Feb. 14, 2014
        6:51 p.m.

        Borrowing money, at any interest rate, is often the only way people can afford a decent house or a new car. Unfortunately, many people “over-borrow” and then find they do not earn enough to pay of the loans; thus the “foreclosures” and “re-possessions” that are occurring on an everyday basis. While this is bad for the individual and worse for the lender, it is totally destructive to our government under our present economic slump. With over 17 trillion already owed, our government would be totally irresponsible and derelict of duty by borrowing any more from foreign governments. Foreclosure at this time would mean a collapse of our government and the destruction of our way of life and any freedoms we now enjoy. Chaos would reign supreme and MARSHAL LAW would be implemented: which is exactly what I believe Obama wants.

      • Ronald Hagler

        Feb. 14, 2014
        7:01 p.m.

        Borrowing money in an effort to keep a company going is totally dependant on said company recovering from their lack of sales. Failure to do so causes the company to “Go-Under”. When a government, facing the biggest economic recession on record, seeks to borrow more and more, in an effort to keep itself running, the result can be disastrous. With more American workers losing their prime source of income, companies closing American sites and re-opening them in other countries, a steady influx of low-skilled, uneducated immigrants and a constant increase of people drawing money from Federal funds, we will not be able to pay of existing loans, much less any new ones. That is a FACT, Jack!

        • opinionated1234

          Feb. 18, 2014
          1:39 p.m.

          Why are we borrowing money to give to foreign muslim nations? Why are we supplying them with weapons and planes? We are doing this on borrowed money…..that we will need to pay back. This guy needs to go or he needs to be more fiscally responsible! The Iranians have so little respect for America that they are sending rust buckets for ships and threatening us…US!!!! What is wrong with this picture???

    • Raylusk

      Feb. 14, 2014
      10:51 p.m.

      Your post is so full of crap I hardly know where to start. First Obama isn’t the one that controls the spending of money that is Congress and specifically the House. The same GOP controlled House that passed a two year budget just last month. You know the budget is where we set spending levels for the year and where if we want to cut spending or raise revenue we should do it. The debt ceiling is where we authorize the borrowing nessesary to fund repaying our debt as well as our bills authorized by the budget. This debt ceiling increase doesn’t give Obama carte Blanche he must abide by the budget and the spending bills that implemented that budget. You really might want to learn more about how the process works before you go off on your ridiculous rants.

      • Ronald Hagler

        Feb. 17, 2014
        2:11 p.m.

        Had you read the entire “Rant” (as you called it), you would have read the last sentence; where I stated Congress had just approved a bill to hand Obama more funding for his less than frugal spending tactics. As for your stating that Obama is not the problem, as he has to abide by the rules and guidelines set forth in the budget, I simply state that he has been abusive in the use of “Executive Orders“ to by-pass Congress and circumvent congressional procedure to achieve his personal goals and to satisfy his agenda. In his first term, Obama issued an “Executive Order“ for the printing of money to pay off a sizable foreign debt, without regard for procedure and the approval of Congress. Not only was that an irresponsible act, as Obama did not verify that we had the gold reserves to back the newly printed bills, but he circumvented Congress simply to achieve that which he wished to accomplish. Obama and his Royal Family have taken such advantage of his position as to be abusive in respect to our economy. He has taken more vacations than either of the Bushes and he has spent more money on these vacations: all while our American workers are losing jobs to oversea competition and illegal immigrants. That being said, how do you explain the increase in debt under Obama’s administration? Our National debt, while Obama has been in office, has increased more than at any time in history. So much for “abiding” by the rules as set forth by our Constitution and Congress. Believe it or not, I know the system very well and am completely comfortable pointing out your short comings and flawed summary of my post. Obama shows a complete disregard for protocol, precedence and Congressional procedure in most of his actions. In his “State-Of-The-Union” message, Obama clearly showed his disrespect for the Constitution, American citizens and Congress with one statement: “I have a pen and a phone…..”! You know the rest. Obama plans to continue circumventing Congress, via “Executive Orders”, and spending as much money as he pleases. So much for abiding “ by the budget and the spending bills that implemented that budget”; as stated by you. You can continue to defend Obama, but you cannot deny that our national debt is rising with every year he is in office. That is a documented fact. We need to quit spending and start saving. Maybe had he not spent over $80,000 to send Michelle to Hawaii, one million to send Michelle, his daughters and his niece to Europe and an undisclosed amount for his vacation to Martha’s Vineyard, I could be less cynical of Obama’s spending habits. Perhaps!

        • Raylusk

          Feb. 17, 2014
          2:52 p.m.

          And another post from the guy that he understands but clearly doesn’t. First we are no longer on the gold standard so stuff that part of your post. Yes Obama payed off a sizable foreign debt but it didn’t cause the printing of any new money. It’s called refinancing at a lower rate. You see that debt you cited was at a high interest rate and since rates are very low now he simply refinanced it with a new borrower at a lower rate.

          You crap about vacations is just that crap. Obama has in fact taken less time in vacations then any other President since before Reagan. So how about quit lying.

          Obama can’t spend any money that isn’t authorized by Congress. That is a fact. You are either very dumb or a liar but in either case you can take a hike because I know much better what is going on then you ever will. Your post clearly shows that.

          • opinionated1234

            Feb. 18, 2014
            1:34 p.m.

            Guess what? As of today it was announced that the House will stop all unnecessary spending by the President. He will need to learn to live within a budget! And yes the House of Representatives, as per the Federalist papers has that right through the “Power of the Purse”, as set up by our founders! He has abused the American people long enough! Our military are on food stamps and can’t get their compensation after spending time defending this country and Michelle is skiing in Aspen? She just spent 24 days in Hawaii!!! ENOUGH! This is total BS. I feel like my taxes are going for her to jet set all over the globe to ski? He has disrespected the military long enough. He treats the welfare recipients better and the illegal immigrants! We are paying for his buying gifts for votes! ENOUGH! The American people have had it.

        • Raylusk

          Feb. 17, 2014
          2:53 p.m.

          • opinionated1234

            Feb. 18, 2014
            1:25 p.m.

            Yes, but what was the cost to the American people? Bush spent time on his ranch that he owns. He did not abuse the privilege and generosity of the American people like the Obama. They think their vacations are unlimited and are so blatant about it!

          • Raylusk

            Feb. 18, 2014
            2:24 p.m.

            Since we don’t know the costs for either President we can’t really say. But why the constant attacks from conservatives when they don’t know the facts? Any one that says they know the costs of a President’s vacation is lying.

  5. Mickey Kovars

    Feb. 14, 2014
    10:21 p.m.

    When is Ted going to stop shooting at his own troops? I just want the Democrats and Obama stopped. If Ted’s crusade against McConnell and others results in 2 more years of Reid as majority leader, I can only assume that Ted is in the pay of the Democrats.

    • Jake McCandles

      Feb. 15, 2014
      10:56 a.m.

      Mickey, If not Ted, Rand, Lee and a handful of house members who will stop the left? Certainly not the rest of the GOP.

      • Jake McCandles

        Feb. 15, 2014
        10:58 a.m.

        Let me ask you this….. If your in prison, do you fight or grab your ankles?

      • TRonJ

        Feb. 15, 2014
        2:45 p.m.

        You can’t stop the left unless you’re in the majority. If every Republican in the Senate were clones of Cruz, you’d still lose without a majority. If you kill off your fellow Republicans you definitely lose.

  6. bc81024

    Feb. 15, 2014
    1:18 a.m.

    Sen. Fidel Cruz splits the GOP party, makes a mess of the primaries, seriously weakens either Rand (Flat-World)Paul of Jeb and the next president will be announced as, President Clinton. Isn’t Freedom of Speech just grand.

    • opinionated1234

      Feb. 18, 2014
      1:53 p.m.

      So let’s see ….you want to keep the establishment Republicans in the Senate and House so that we have only PROGRESSIVE SOCIALISTS AND RINO (TRAITOR) REPUBLICANS? Not much difference. The GOP is Corrupt with the exception of the Conservatives…pay attention….WE NEED STRONG CONSERVATIVE CANDIDATES AND WE NEED THE RINOS WHO HAVE BEEN THERE TOO LONG AND ARE TOTALLY CORRUPTED GONE! HOPEFULLY WE CAN GET THEM TO TAKE AT LEAST 6 0R 7 PROGRESSIVE COMMIES WITH THEM!

  7. Santiago Alemedia

    Feb. 15, 2014
    11:04 a.m.

    I love Ted Cruz for calling these phonies out! Both Dems and establishment repubs can’t stand one of their own actually daring to speak the truth, and highlighting the two-faced cowards in Congress who call themselves fiscally responsible spending reducers.

  8. Bozeman

    Feb. 15, 2014
    12:33 p.m.

    It is patently unjust for the central government to be wasting over $1 million a day on the baby murder factory known as Planned Parenthood.

  9. Henry Ko

    Feb. 16, 2014
    2:16 a.m.

    In 2009, the U.S. Postal Service spent $13,500 for a single dinner at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse.

  10. Water Dude

    Feb. 16, 2014
    2:32 p.m.

    Here’s the deficit history under the criminal marxist regime of ineligible usurper Hussein Obama:2009: $1.41 Trillion 2010: $1.29 Trillion 2011: $1.30 Trillion 2012: $1.10 Trillion

  11. Andre Leonard

    Feb. 18, 2014
    6:57 a.m.

    As a Libertarian, I find Cruz to be the most refreshing thing the GOP has right now. You get the truth and nothing but the truth.

    Unlike McConnell and Boehner.

  12. Anonymous

    July 4, 2015
    4:33 p.m.

    My spouse and I stumbled over here by a different website and thought I should check things out. I like what I see so now i’m following you. Look forward to exploring your web page repeatedly.

  13. Anonymous

    July 7, 2015
    9:29 a.m.

    I’d have to examine with you here. Which is not one thing I usually do! I take pleasure in reading a post that may make folks think. Additionally, thanks for permitting me to comment!

  14. Anonymous

    July 7, 2015
    9:20 p.m.

    I adore looking at and I conceive this website got some genuinely utilitarian stuff on it! .

  15. Anonymous

    July 9, 2015
    9:42 a.m.

    I simply couldn’t go away your web site prior to suggesting that I really loved the standard information a person supply to your visitors? Is going to be back regularly in order to investigate cross-check new posts.

  16. yrbYrxX

    July 15, 2015
    6:23 p.m.

    718797 451251I truly appreciated this amazing weblog. Make confident you maintain up the very good function. All of the very best !!!! 415591

  17. Anonymous

    July 18, 2015
    6:37 a.m.

    My partner and I stumbled over here by a different website and thought I should check things out. I like what I see so now i am following you. Look forward to exploring your web page repeatedly.

  18. Anonymous

    July 30, 2015
    4:52 p.m.

    I have recently started a site, the information you provide on this website has helped me greatly. Thanks for all of your time & work.

  19. Anonymous

    July 31, 2015
    11:33 a.m.

    I conceive you have remarked some very interesting details , appreciate it for the post.

  20. Anonymous

    Aug. 2, 2015
    12:15 p.m.

    After all, what a great site and informative posts, I will upload inbound link – bookmark this web site? Regards, Reader.

  21. Anonymous

    Aug. 7, 2015
    7:09 a.m.

    Its such as you read my thoughts! You appear to understand a lot about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I believe that you just can do with a few to pressure the message house a little bit, however other than that, that is wonderful blog. An excellent read. I’ll certainly be back.

  22. Anonymous

    Aug. 9, 2015
    6:21 p.m.

    I just wanted to compose a simple note in order to say thanks to you for these amazing tactics you are showing at this website. My considerable internet research has now been honored with reasonable suggestions to exchange with my great friends. I ‘d admit that we site visitors are truly blessed to exist in a notable community with many awesome professionals with insightful points. I feel extremely happy to have used your web page and look forward to really more brilliant moments reading here. Thanks once again for all the details.

  23. Anonymous

    Aug. 12, 2015
    4:41 p.m.

    An interesting discussion is worth comment. I think that you should write more on this topic, it might not be a taboo subject but generally people are not enough to speak on such topics. To the next. Cheers

  24. Anonymous

    Aug. 19, 2015
    9:51 a.m.

    I am glad to be one of many visitants on this outstanding internet site (:, regards for putting up.

  25. Anonymous

    Aug. 25, 2015
    10:04 p.m.

    Rattling good info can be found on website. “The quality of an organization can never exceed the quality of the minds that make it up.” by Harold R. McAlindon.

Sign In

Forgot password?



Receive daily coverage of the people, politics and personality of Capitol Hill.

Subscription | Free Trial

Logging you in. One moment, please...