WASHINGTON (CBS4) – Freshman Florida U.S. Senator Marco Rubio rode to victory on the back of the tea party, and in a new plan Thursday; he joined with tea party senators to effectively bring the business of the Senate and the federal government to a halt.
Senator Rubio joined fellow senators David Vitter, Jim DeMint, John Ensign, Mike Lee, Rand Paul, Jeff Session, and Pat Toomey in a letter that vowed to block all Senate business until the Senate “focuses on the debt crisis.”
“We are notifying you (Senate Majority leader Harry Reid) of our intention to object to the consideration of any legislation that fails to directly address this crisis in a meaningful way,” Senator Rubio said in prepared remarks.
What’s not known is whether or not the group of seven, or even just one of the group, will object and seek to filibuster an attempt to raise the U.S. national debt ceiling. The government will reach the current ceiling in the next few months.
Economists on both sides of the aisle have said that failing to raise the debt ceiling could have catastrophic consequences for the United States. If the United States defaults on its debts, it could spark economic havoc for both Wall Street and Main Street.
Rubio and the group of seven’s letter said the group would withhold objections, “if the Senate agrees to dedicate significant floor time to debate this issue well in advance of the federal government reaching our statutorily-mandated debt limit.”
Some tea party-aligned House members have vowed to vote against raising the limit, but the House is expected to pass a raise to the debt ceiling.
It would then move to the Senate for a showdown that will test the mettle of the most conservative members like Jim DeMint and Rand Paul and see if they are willing to cause a default to stick to their ideals.