Rand Paul plans to filibuster until Senate debates debt ceiling

Alec Jacobs Contributor
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Tea Party favorite Sen. Rand Paul is planning a filibuster sometime next week to bring the debt ceiling negotiations to the Senate, the Huffington Post is reporting.

“We’ve not had one minute of debate about the debt ceiling in any committee,” the Kentucky Republican told C-SPAN’s “Newsmakers” in a Sunday interview. He said after not having a budget or an appropriations bill in two years, he’s “part of the freshmen group in the Senate that’s saying, ‘No more.’”

(John McCain: American people ‘don’t want compromise’ on deficit)

So next week, he’ll take a stand: He’ll filibuster until negotiations about the debt ceiling take place on the floor of the Senate.

A group of conservative senators plan to present their own proposal to raise the debt limit, hand-in-hand with a balanced budget amendment.

Paul’s declaration of an impending filibuster comes after an attempt by a fellow Republican, Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson. Last Tuesday, Johnson blocked all unanimous consent calls, the equivalent of halting any and all Senate business.

Johnson demanded negotiations over the debt ceiling take place “in the bright light of day.” He was able to block unanimous consent calls for two hours, before Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada stopped him with a procedural move.

Sen. Paul seems more confident: “[W]e will actually vote in favor of raising the debt ceiling next week if we can, but it will be contingent on passing a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution … I will only do it if we have significant budgetary reform, and to me that means you have to balance your budget every year.”

Paul may, however, face opposition even from those in his own party. The Hill reports that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky opposes tying a balanced budget amendment in with any deal to raise the debt limit.