U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) promised Tuesday to filibuster a budget compromise bill that enjoys the support of the White House and Republican congressional leadership.
The bill would raise the nation’s $18.1 trillion debt limit, increase domestic spending by $80 billion over 2 years, and add $32 billion to an emergency war fund, according to The New York Times.
The Washington Post notes that Senator Paul, who called the bill a “steaming pile of legislation,” said at a Tuesday appearance at the University of Colorado Denver, “I will filibuster the new debt ceiling bill. It is horrible, it’s hard for me not to use profanity in describing it.”
Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.) told CNN, “It’s a $1.5 trillion spending increase and in exchange for that they get $80 billion in more spending. So anybody who is a serious fiscal conservative cannot support this bill in my opinion.”
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) called the debt ceiling hike “a slap in the face to conservatives” but has not yet indicated whether he will join Sen. Paul in his filibuster.
Paul’s plan is to prevent the Senate from passing the bill through unanimous consent, which would drag out the process and allow the House Freedom Caucus more time to rally against it.
Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) said that he feels there is not enough time left for conservatives to stop the bill before the nation’s spending levels hit the debt limit. “To make any kind of meaningful longer-term strategy … I think it is too late. So I don’t see that as something that happens this time, but I do see that potentially in all future debt ceiling negotiations,” Representative Meadows told Reuters.
“We should be using the leverage of the debt ceiling to actually enforce spending restraint,” said Senator Paul. “I will do everything I can to stop it, I will filibuster it, I will not let them condense the time. I will make sure that the country is aware that really both sides appear to have given up, right and left.”
“The right wants more money for the military and the left wants more money for welfare. Guns and butter, that’s what we’re going to have, guns and butter, but as a consequence they’re destroying the country by adding more debt,” he added, according to Chicago Sun-Times.
Critics say before each debt ceiling increase that failing to raise the debt limit would cause the U.S. to default on its financial obligations. Paul called that argument a “canard put forward by those who want to spend money.”
U.S. government spending is set to reach its debt limit on November 3.