Opinion

Ted Cruz urges John Boehner not to hike debt ceiling without 'significant' spending reforms

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Congress,Joel Gehrke,John Boehner,Debt Ceiling,Ted Cruz,Jack Lew

Sen. Ted Cruz called for House Speaker John Boehner to take up the debt ceiling fight that House Republicans seem leery of, saying that Congress should only raise the debt limit while making "significant" spending reforms.

"In my view, we should not raise the debt ceiling without significant structural reforms to fix the problem to stop the out-of-control spending," the Texas Republican told a gaggle of reporters after his speech at the Heritage Foundation on energy policy.

"Our national debt has gone from $10 trillion to over $17 trillion in five short years, and yet, President Obama is asking Congress to give him a blank check, to allow him to keep maxing out the credit card, without doing anything to fix the problem," Cruz said. "I think that's irresponsible. I hope the House doesn't go down that road."

The federal government is predicted to hit the debt limit on Feb. 27, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew told Congress last week. While it's unclear what Republicans will do -- it's unlikely that there will be a major fiscal showdown such as the 2011 debate that produced the Budget Control Act and the phenomenon known as sequestration.

"House Republicans are weighing a number of legislative proposals for raising the debt ceiling but there is no final deal yet," the Washington Examiner's Susan Ferrechio reported Monday. "One plan calls for restoring the proposed military pension cuts and patching a loophole in the law that regularly reduces the reimbursement rates for doctors treating Medicare patients. The cost would be offset by extending mandatory spending cuts. In exchange, lawmakers would agree to lift the debt ceiling until early 2015."

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