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Rand Paul, Mick Mulvaney Fight 'Clean' Debt Limit Hike

Paul is bringing back "Cut, Cap and Balance." (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Conservative lawmakers are trying to fire up the base ahead of the next debt limit debate, even as one of them says the establishment could have the votes for a "clean" increase.  

Rep. Mick Mulvaney of South Carolina cautioned Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., from advancing a bill with a debt limit disapproval process.  

"If Mitch doesn't really want to do his job, he should just quit and go home," Mulvaney said. "If he's going to make it where the president gets to run the country unless the Congress disapproves something? That's a joke. So no, I hope it doesn't come to that."  

Mulvaney joined Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., on a conference call Monday to outline a newly updated version of "Cut, Cap, and Balance" legislation designed to curtail the federal budget. Mulvaney joked that his comments about McConnell, who has endorsed Paul's presidential bid, had nothing to do with the junior senator from Kentucky.  

"This is no reflection at all on Rand, because this is just a lowly House member,"Mulvaney told reporters.  

Paul conceded a debt ceiling increase could likely move through Congress without any spending overhaul and said there were no assurances about Senate consideration.  

"This is what the people want, and so I'm responding to things that the people want," Paul said. "I've always been of the position that you don't raise the debt ceiling without significant reform and to me, you have to change your ways. If we just keep giving more credit to a government that is drunk on spending, it's a big mistake."  

"In the Senate we're never guaranteed of anything, but I think by exerting force, trying to get the conservative groups motivated like we were in 2011, it does make a difference," he added.  

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