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Tonight I'm a doctor taking a stand against borrowing literally taking a stand and what -- bathroom breaks to.
Filibustering the debt limit.
In a senator field.
And it is going to vote on -- pass something horrific he or she has one tactic to prevent such a vote.
It's called a filibuster.
And essentially any senator who wants to stop a vote stands up on the senate floor -- speaks without stopping for as long as it takes to prevent the vote from taking place the senator can't stop talking he can't sit down he can't poised to leave for any reason.
If you're in the senate and you had the opportunity to force the government to live within its means would you do all that you could within the law the rules of the senate to stop this borrowing.
My next guest says he may have to Jimmy Stewart and Mr.
Smith Goes to Washington.
Here value to our Republican senator and friend of freedom watch -- senator -- -- it's a pleasure welcome here.
-- thank you -- I like I guess I've sort of I got over the top what the Hollywood image.
Of a filibuster but the idea of cots in the -- -- doesn't exist anymore.
And in fact you don't have to speak for 27 or 48 hours like Strom Thurmond once did all you have to do is get the leadership to say.
And then they need sixty votes instead of 51 in order to pass something -- that right.
All right so so what had.
It's what will you do.
Mike Lee a defender of the constitution.
Of the soundness of the dollar and of the view that the government can't keep digging the damn hole any deeper.
In order to stop the government from doing it.
In order to -- the congress from raising the debt ceiling.
What I've said judge is that I will use every tool at my disposal including that one if necessary if that's what it's going to take.
In order to stop -- debt limit increase unless congress first passes out a balanced budget amendment to the constitution.
One that would put in place -- permanent structural spending reform so that congress fundamentally changes the way that it spends money.
The problem has been that congress has been drawing from a virtually limitless well.
Of money for decades and as a result we've accumulated almost fifteen trillion dollars in debt.
If we can't continue to operate -- same way -- opportunity he has to stop now.
It if the congress were to send to the states and the states were to enact a balanced budget amendment.
And it were ratified it became part of the constitution.
We know the congress would follow it and we did.
Did violate the constitution all the time the president starts wars and his own they passed the Patriot Act and let's FBI agents write their own search warrants in defiance of the Fourth Amendment.
So how do we know that you -- balanced budget amendment is added to the constitution.
Would result in on -- in -- -- budget that's truly balanced.
Well first of all whatever you amend the constitution in a very specific in recent directive.
There will be enormous political consequences -- members of congress having taken a note to that constitution then immediately defied.
You also have the and -- -- affect the sword of damocles.
Type of deterrent effect associated with the possibility of judicial intervention.
And it in both circumstances there would be so much pressure on congress to comply with -- tonight I believe congress what.
You make it very valid point in noting that congress is not always as respectful was it should be.
Toward specific constitutional provisions in this circumstance given the specificity.
And given how recent it would be I believe they would comply.
-- used an interesting phrase senator -- judicial intervention what would it be up to judges to decide.
If the government was spending more than the balanced budget.
Amendment if it passes it that's ratified permitted the government to spend.
Otherwise -- likely have to assume the president and say you can't buy that jet fighter you can't fund that crazy program because your budget is out of balance of the constitution.
Requires that it be balanced.
At the short answer your question is no you would you wouldn't have to wait for judicial intervention.
It's the threat the possibility however remote it might be that it might result in litigation.
That I think would help keep congress in check that along with the political forces are associated with the passage of a -- -- -- and what's it takes effect.
Member of congress takes an oath to the constitution and then -- -- a very specific and a very recent prohibition.
They're going to be a lot of trouble with their files that you are now I hope -- course wouldn't get involved OK I -- just in the argue.
And I appreciate it certainly.
In answer this for me please if you do.
Enacted this filibuster not sure what the phrase -- -- if you do something that forces the senate.
To have to need sixty votes in order to pass the elevation of the debt ceiling.
And all Republicans vote with new.
Then the debt ceiling increase loses.
What is that -- -- of that happening would Mitch McConnell.
And the Republican leadership.
Defy the white house of what we expect to come from the House of Representatives and actually say.
No there are not sixty votes the debt ceiling is not gonna go up -- might dreaming or might this actually happened.
Well look I I obviously can't and won't in this circumstance -- For any of my colleagues what I'm saying is that this is so important I've made a commitment to my constituents.
That I will continue to resist any and every effort to raise the debt limit until such time as we haven't placed a balanced budget amendment of the constitution.
And we've submitted -- to the states for ratification.
Will those of you -- In the congress in the house and the senate and -- -- there -- more -- -- in the house endorsed by the Tea Party.
Stand firm -- this opposition to raising the debt ceiling or will even Tea Party members of congress -- to the pressures from big government that's.
Everywhere in that building where you now walk.
Well I anticipate that along with me the other and members of congress in both houses.
Who associated with the Tea Party movement who identify ourselves as members of the Tea Party movement as the product of -- having been.
-- here with the sort of Tea Party mandate from the voters yeah I I believe we'll stick to our guns I know I will.
I know that every one of my colleagues that I know identifies with that will do the same thing all right we only have about fifteen seconds -- -- gonna have a great debate.
In the next two months before the debt ceiling is reached because it just going to be a vote with no serious debate.
I intend to use every waking moment between now and two months from now to make sure that we do have.
A great debate on this this is too consequential issue it's too huge.
Forced to simply gloss over it.
Some select you as you might say judge yeah I'm not gonna allow that that senator Mike Lee from you -- a pleasure thanks for joining us.
Tim Geithner said.
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