Senate conservatives “plan to filibuster legislation to increase the nation’s debt ceiling above $14.3 trillion, a move that will make it harder for President Obama to garner the votes he needs,” The Hill reports.
Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) has told supporters in Utah that he will filibuster the legislation to authorize Treasury Department officials to add to the nation’s multitrillion-dollar debt.
“That’s my intention, to filibuster it,” said Lee, a member of the Senate Tea Party Caucus.
Lee said he might be persuaded to back off if Obama and Democratic leaders agreed to a major concession, which GOP strategists consider highly unlikely.
“The concession would [have to] be something very significant, very permanent and very binding, like a balanced-budget amendment — and passage of it, not just a vote,” Lee said.
Lee added he would vote against an increase of the debt limit no matter what scenario unfolded.
Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), another founding member of the Tea Party Caucus, said Tuesday he would support a filibuster of the debt-limit increase.
“I’m not going to give any consent to move ahead with a debt-ceiling increase,” he said. “The only way I’m going to work with them is if we pass a balanced-budget amendment before we have that vote.”
DeMint predicted that Senate GOP leaders would force a vote on a balanced-budget amendment before allowing legislation to increase the debt limit to reach the floor.
The federal government “is projected to hit its debt limit between April 5 and May 31.”