In a post two weeks ago, I discussed Harry Reid’s efforts use the budget reconciliation process as a procedural trick to raise the debt ceiling with less than 50 votes:
Harry Reid wants the Senate’s budget, which is really nothing more than a massive increase in spending coupled with another $1.5 trillion in taxes, to go to conference where Dingy Harry hopes to use underhanded procedural tricks to either raise the debt ceiling, increase taxes, or both. If successful, Reid could use the reconciliation process to do this with a simple 50-vote majority rather than the 60 votes currently required. This, by the way, is the same process by which Reid was able to ram Obamacare through the Senate with less than 60 votes after Scott Brown’s election prevented the bill’s passage through regular order.
At the time, Senator Cruz objected to the scheme which resulted in Dingy Harry calling him a “schoolyard bully”, among other things. Fast forward to today. Once again the Senate is attempting to appoint conferees without an assurance that the Senate won’t use reconciliation to sneak a debt-ceiling increase through with no pre-conditions or fiscal restraints. And once again, it’s Senator Cruz who’s attempting to prevent this from happening. There is a difference, though. Today it wasn’t Senator Reid with whom Cruz verbally was sparring … but his own party. Via Andrew Johnson at NRO:
Senator Ted Cruz spoke out against his own party on the Senate floor this afternoon as John McCain urged Republicans to move forward in naming a budget conference committee to reconcile differences with the House’s budget. Cruz worried that the negotiations would lead to raising the debt ceiling, which Democrats support.
“The senior senator from Arizona urged this body to trust the Republicans,” the Texas senator said. “Let me be clear: I don’t trust the Republicans, and I don’t trust the Democrats.”
Neither do I. This is going to earn Senator Cruz more love from the permanent political class in Washington, heh.
(h/t Greg W.)