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.