Though Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said that he had to vote to break Sen. Ted Cruz’s filibuster against raising the debt ceiling without spending reductions because he had “to protect the country,” McConnell then voted against the bill when it came to floor.
According to The Hill, McConnell and establishment Republicans in the Senate were furious that Cruz was forcing the bill to require at least five Republican votes to advance, and they “held a tense and angry meeting Wednesday afternoon at which McConnell proposed waiving the 60-vote threshold normally required to advance legislation.”
“We were confronted with a clean debt ceiling in the Senate or default. I believe I have to act in the best interests of the country, and every time we’ve been confronted with a potential crisis, the guy you’re looking at is the one who stepped up to solve the problem,” McConnell said, according to the Associated Press.
McConnell then said that “it was clear that we needed to produce enough procedural votes to get to a debt ceiling vote in order to avoid a default.”
“My job is to protect the country when I can, and to step up and lead on those occasions when it’s required,” he said. “That’s what I did.”
After McConnell defeated Cruz’s filibuster, he and every other Republican who voted to advance the legislation then voted against the final passage of the bill that McConnell said was needed to “protect the country.” Only Democrats voted for the eventual passage of the bill.