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Public Statements

Agriculture Reform, Food, and Jobs Act of 2013

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. CRUZ. Madam President, the senior Senator from Arizona urged this body to trust the Republicans. Let me be clear: I don't trust the Republicans and I don't trust the Democrats. I think a whole lot of Americans likewise don't trust Republicans and the Democrats because it is leadership in both parties that has gotten us in this mess.

My wife and I have two little girls at home. They are 5 and 2. When Caroline was born, our national debt was $10 trillion. Today it is nearly $17 trillion. In her short 5 years of life, the national debt has grown by over 60 percent. What we are doing to our kids and grandkids is immoral.

I commend the Democrats in this body for their candor. The Democrats and President Obama have been very explicit. It is their intention to raise the debt ceiling, and to do so with no conditions whatsoever--to keep borrowing and borrowing and borrowing money without any structural reforms to fix the problems. That is an intellectually consistent position. I think it is a dangerous position but it is at least candid. That is the reason why every day, for 60 days, the Democrats have opposed taking the debt ceiling off the table in this discussion.

Unfortunately, one of the reasons we got into this mess is because a lot of Republicans were complicit in this spending spree. That is why so many Americans are disgusted with both sides of this body, because we need leaders on both sides to do as my friend from Virginia said, to roll up our sleeves, to compromise and to work together and fix the problem--fix the enormous fiscal and economic problems and stop bankrupting our country.

What this issue is all about is very simple: Will we allow the debt ceiling to be raised in an unlimited amount with a 50-vote threshold? And if the answer to that is yes, we have, in effect, just voted to raise the debt ceiling because the Democrats hold a majority of this body--55 seats--and the Democrats are explicit that they want to raise the debt ceiling. If we go to conference without the debt ceiling being taken off the plate, it is a 100-percent certainty the debt ceiling will be raised. It has been done three times in recent history. Every Republican who stands against holding the line here is saying: Let's give the Democrats a blank check to borrow any money they want, with no reforms, no leadership to fix the problem. I don't think that is consistent with any of our responsibilities.

A final point. Much has been said about the budget was debated, the budget was considered, and that is surely true. But the budget contains nothing about the debt ceiling. The budget did not consider the debt ceiling. When all of us were here all night debating the budget, we didn't debate the debt ceiling. The question here is whether the majority of the Senate will be able to bootstrap the debt ceiling--a totally different issue--onto the budget. And the reason for doing it is to use a political trick. It would allow the majority to pass a debt ceiling increase on just 50 votes.

I think it would be profoundly irresponsible for this body to raise the debt ceiling without fixing the problem--without getting the economy going, without getting jobs back, and without stopping the path we are on of bankrupting this country. That is what this fight is about.

I yield the floor.


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