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Rubio: Let’s Ensure A Debt Ceiling Increase Is Not Snuck In To Budget Negotiations

Jun 4, 2013 | Press Releases

On Senate floor, Rubio again objects to House-Senate conference committee on budget without commitment to forbid debt ceiling increase

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) today blocked the U.S. Senate’s attempt to proceed to a House-Senate conference committee on the budget without a guarantee that raising the debt limit will not be included in any budget agreement.  On the Senate floor, Rubio objected to Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray’s (D-WA) unanimous consent request to proceed to conference.

Under current Senate rules, a debt ceiling increase could be included in the House-Senate conference committee’s budget agreement and then require just 51 votes to approve it in the Senate, instead of 60 votes as normally required.

The exchange is available on YouTube here, and a transcript follows:

Rubio: “Reserving the right to object, first, I thank the senator from Arizona for protecting my right to object in my absence before I made it to the floor.  And just to set the record straight, I don’t think that we object to moving to the budget conference. We object to moving the budget conference and having the debt limit raised within that conference.  So, I would ask the senator if she would consider a unanimous consent, that she modify her request so it not be in order for the Senate to consider a conference report that includes reconciliation instructions to raise the debt limit.”

Murray: “Madam President, if the senator heard my request, I said that we would consider a motion to instruct relative to the debt limit as part of our agreement to move to conference. So the senator would be allowed to make his voice heard at that time, and I would object to making a requirement without a vote of the Senate that says the majority would agree with that. So I would object to his amendment and again ask for consent on the agreement that I have before me.”

Presiding Officer: “Objection is heard. Is there objection to the original request?”

Rubio: “Madam president?”

Presiding Officer: “The senator from Florida.”

Rubio: “I object.”