Sen. Ted Cruz is about to make life a little more difficult for his Republican "friends."
The Texas Republican plans to object to a simple-majority, up-or-down vote on the debt ceiling, his office confirms. The clean debt-ceiling bill will then need 60 votes to pass the Senate, meaning at least five Republicans will have to join the entire Democratic caucus for it to pass.
Much of the saga over the debt ceiling has played out in the Republican controlled-House. But the Senate may not be without its own bit of drama. An aye vote on the debt-ceiling increase isn't exactly one that Republicans, even moderate ones, are itching to cast. And now Cruz, largely looked to as the architect behind the strategy that led to the government shutdown, will be the one to force them into that position.
"I don't know if there are any Republicans who want to vote a clean debt limit," Republican Sen. John Thune said. "Until we receive it from the House and figure out what some of our members may or may not do, it's hard to sort of speculate about what those outcomes might be."
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told reporters that if the House passes a clean bill Tuesday evening, "I am confident we will move over here as quickly as we can. But I put nothing past the tea-party-driven Republican conference."