Sen. Mitt Romney said Tuesday he planned to join the rest of his Republican colleagues in the Senate to filibuster a planned vote on raising the debt ceiling.
“We’re not voting in any way to help raise the debt ceiling. As a group we are all together,” Romney told reporters.
Romney’s comments come ahead of a planned vote on whether the Senate will take up legislation to raise the debt ceiling. If any Republican objects, it will take 60 votes to move forward. Republicans in the equally divided Senate have made it clear they will not support that move.
Twice in the last two weeks Senate Republicans have blocked votes on raising the debt limit. The filibuster by Republicans prevents the Democratic-controlled Senate from even debating a measure to raise the debt ceiling.
The Treasury Department has warned the U.S. will run out of money to pay its bills on October 18 if the debt limit is not raised. That could force the government into default, which would have disastrous effects on the global economy. Experts have warned a government default could result in the loss of about 6 million jobs and an unemployment rate of nearly to 9%, Reuters reported. It could also wipe out $15 trillion in household wealth and cause interest rates to skyrocket.
President Joe Biden has called Republican stonewalling of any vote on the debt ceiling “reckless” and “disgraceful.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has agreed the debt ceiling needs to be raised, but said Democrats will need to do it without any Republican votes.
In 2019, Congress voted to suspend the debt ceiling until August of 2021.