The Republican from Texas said Tuesday he would not let the Senate follow in the footsteps of the House and pass a "clean" debt ceiling hike with a simple majority.
“Under no circumstances will I agree to the Senate’s raising the debt ceiling with just 50 votes," Cruz said. "I intend to object and force a 60-vote threshold."
Cruz's move means the 53 Democrats and two Independents would need the support of five Republicans to pass the debt ceiling hike, which the Treasury Department says is necessary before the U.S. reaches its spending limit on February 27.
Mark Kirk of Illinois, Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire and Susan Collins of Maine -- Republicans likely to consider crossing the aisle -- said they had not yet decided how to vote.
Cruz said he would have no problem holding up his colleagues, who are hoping to get out of Washington for recess Wednesday as a snowstorm bears down on the nation's capital.
“The precise timing is not terribly consequential, whether the vote is [Wednesday] or the next day," he said. "What matters is the threshold of 60 votes and not 50."
The Senate planned to hold the vote around 2 p.m. Wednesday, and it was not clear heading into the vote for cloture if the Democrats would be able to pull in enough Republican votes to clear Cruz's opposition.
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