On Saturday at the National Review Institution Summit in Washington, D.C., rising Republican star Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) took to the podium to deliver an impassioned explanation for why Republicans must force President Obama to the wall on the debt ceiling and the next continuing budget resolution:
The continuing resolution and the debt ceiling coming up next couple of months - those are leverage points that are mirror images of the fiscal cliff. The result is a temporary or partial government shutdown, and we’ve seen that movie before, in 1995…the result was some political pain, to be sure...but also the most fiscally responsible Congress we’ve seen in modern times.
While Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) has been preaching relative moderation with regard to negotiations over the debt, Cruz said that Republicans must stand on principle or risk falling victim to an Obama administration hell-bent on destroying the GOP altogether. The House GOP, said Cruz, represents “the last bastion standing between us and oblivion”:
The fundamental dynamic…is whichever side owns the default is in a stronger position. Whoever wins if nothing gets done, wins…the battle, which is why in the fiscal cliff we got such a bad deal. President Obama was perfectly fine, serene to go over that cliff. The only hope of getting anything affirmative done is…to use those leverage points to force real solutions.
If Republicans fail to use those leverage points, said Cruz, Republicans will be sacrificing long-term gain to avoid short-term pain.