Republican Senator Threatens to Employ Procedural Tactics to Delay Debt Ceiling Bill Without Reforms

Republican Senator Mike Lee of Utah, who serves as the chairman of the conservative Senate Republican Steering Committee, has issued a stern warning, stating that he will utilize “every procedural tool” at his disposal to impede the passage of a debt ceiling bill unless it incorporates significant reforms.

Lee’s tactics could potentially prolong the Senate proceedings for several days, causing negotiators to reevaluate their timeline as they scramble to strike a deal before the nation faces default.

In a tweet on Thursday morning, Lee declared, “I will use every procedural tool at my disposal to impede a debt-ceiling deal that doesn’t contain substantial spending and budgetary reforms. I fear things are moving in that direction. If they do, that proposal will not face smooth sailing in the Senate.” This statement came in response to media reports indicating that White House negotiators and Speaker Kevin McCarthy are nearing an agreement on spending levels.

Lee possesses a range of options to obstruct any debt limit deal. He could insist on a complete reading of the bill and refuse to consent to waive motions that would expedite other time-consuming procedural formalities on the Senate floor.

It is anticipated that the eventual agreement will fall short of the significant reforms outlined in the Limit, Save, Grow Act, which was passed by the House last month. This bill proposed a $1.5 trillion increase in the debt ceiling in exchange for $4.8 trillion in spending cuts over a ten-year period.

Earlier this month, Lee led a letter signed by 43 Republican senators, stating that they would not support the advancement of “any bill that raises the debt ceiling without substantive spending and budget reforms.”

Nevertheless, even if a debt limit bill lacking the reforms preferred by Lee and other conservatives garners McCarthy’s support, it is expected to secure enough Republican votes for passage in the Senate.