WASHINGTON, Oct. 6 (UPI) -- Republican budget hard-liner Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, Sunday said it was not unreasonable for Congress to use the debt ceiling as leverage for spending cuts.
Speaking on CNN's "State of the Union," Cruz said congressional approval to raise the debt ceiling had long been a source of leverage to control government spending and there was "great historical precedence" for the current standoff that has already forced a shutdown of the federal government and raised the prospect of a default on the government's debt.
"Since 1978, we raised the debt ceiling 55 times and a majority of those times, 28 times, Congress has attached very specific and stringent requirements," Cruz said. "Many of the most significant spending restraints things like Gramm-Rudman and the sequestration came through the debt ceiling."
"And so, the president's demand to jack up the nation's credit card with no limits, no constraints, it's not a reasonable demand," Cruz said.
Cruz softened the Republican image in the current shutdown by pointing out the GOP-controlled House had passed a raft of bills restoring funding to various agencies and programs, but they were being blocked in the Senate by Majority Leader Harry Reid.