Reporting Tim Kephart
MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Senator Marco Rubio will join with fellow tea party Senators Ted Cruz and Mike Lee to vote against the budget passed by the GOP-led House of Representatives that will fund the government and defund the discretionary spending in the Affordable Care Act.
“When I ran for the Senate I pledged to do everything I could to stop Obamacare,” Rubio said in a statement Monday. “A vote for cloture will make it easier for Senate Democrats to preserve this job killing law. That is why I will vote no on the motion to cut off debate.”
Rubio’s move to support a filibuster of the House budget comes as a last ditch effort to “defund” the Affordable Care Act using a continuing resolution in the Senate. The Senate will bring the House bill to the floor and then Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will amend the bill to strip the defunding Obamacare language from the bill with a simple majority vote.
Then the Senate will have to end debate on the bill, which would require more than 60 votes to beat back a filibuster from Rubio, Cruz, and Lee. However, there appear to be more than enough votes to end a filibuster and move the bill to a final vote which would require just a majority to pass the Senate.
Senator Rubio’s move put him at odds with Republican leadership in the Senate including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. The Senate Minority Leader came out over the last 48 hours saying it didn’t make sense to oppose the GOP House budget in the Senate if you ultimately support it.
Once the Senate passes the continuing resolution funding the government at sequestration levels, it will move back to the House where GOP leadership faces a dilemma. The House can either accept the sequestration level spending while keeping the ACA; or it can decline to pass the CR and shut down the government.
If the CR passes both houses of Congress and is signed into law by the president; tea party activists plan to stage a secondary legislating by hostage approach to the raising of the national debt limit. The tea party plans to try to force Obama and Democrats to accept a delay in Obamacare and a litany of GOP demands to raise the debt limit.
President Obama and Senate Democrats have said there will be no negotiations over the raising of the debt limit. If the debt ceiling was breached, no one knows how bad the repercussions would be for the United States.
According to the Treasury Department, there is no wide scale agency-by-agency plan to prioritize payments, which may not even be legal. Most assume the Treasury Department would simply delay payments to bondholders.
The problem is no one has considered such a fiscal disaster because no one believed Congress would ever do something so out of control as not raising the debt limit.
According to the New York Times, a small increase in treasury rates of 0.5 percent would cost $75 billion a year due to increased payments. The rise in benchmark Treasuries would then impact other things like mortgages, car loans, and corporate borrowing costs which could lead to an even slower economic recovery.
The last time tea party Republicans took the debt limit hostage in 2011, the standoff cost the American taxpayers roughly $18.9 billion over 10 years, according to the Bipartisan Policy Center.