Cruz: Tie Debt Ceiling to ObamaCare Also thinks GOP is 'winning the argument' By Polly Davis Doig, Newser Staff Posted Oct 6, 2013 12:11 PM CDT 433 comments Comments Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, speaking on the Senate floor at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013. (AP Photo/Senate TV) (Newser) – Ted Cruz today called for "ways to mitigate the harms from ObamaCare," and he's looking squarely at you, debt ceiling showdown: "The debt ceiling historically has been among the best leverage that Congress has to rein in the executive," he said today on State of the Union, and he wants Republicans to use it to get "some significant structural plan to reduce government spending" and to "avoid new taxes." "The president’s demand—jack up the country’s credit card with no limits and no constraints—is not a reasonable one," he said, as per Politico. Turning to the government shutdown, Cruz said that the number of "nasty partisan jabs" emanating from the left wing is "indicative of the fact that we're winning the argument—ObamaCare isn't working." John Boehner on the prospects of passing a clean debt ceiling hike: "We're not going to pass a clean debt limit increase. I told the president, there's no way we're going to pass one. The votes are not in the House to pass a clean debt limit. And the president is risking default by not having a conversation with us." Chuck Schumer on Boehner's assertion: "Put it on the floor Monday or Tuesday. I would bet there are the votes to pass it. We have just about every Democrat, 21 Republicans have publicly said they would. There are many more Republicans who have said that they privately would. So, Speaker Boehner, just vote. Put it on the floor and let's see if you're right." Jack Lew on Boehner: "Why doesn't he put it on the floor and give it a chance? I worked for Speaker (Tip) O' Neill who believed deeply the one thing he believed the American people won't tolerate is obstructionism. He put things on the floor, and sometimes he won and sometimes he lost. But that's the right thing to do." Rand Paul on the prospect of default: “It’s irresponsible of the president and his men to even talk about default. There is no reason for us to default. They're the ones scaring the marketplace." Boehner on the shutdown: "I'm ready for a conversation. I'll take anybody on the Democrats' side who wants to seriously sit down and begin to work out this problem. I'm a reasonable guy. But I didn't come to Washington to be a congressman. I came here to do something on behalf of my country." Lew on the debt ceiling: "I'm telling you that on the 17th, we run out of our ability to borrow, and Congress is playing with fire. If they don't extend the debt limit, we have a very, very short window of time before those scenarios start to be played out." And George Stephanopoulos on the Washington Redskins controversy: "The bigger problem these days might be the name 'Washington' in front of it."