Senator Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) issued a warning to fellow Republicans in Congress: If you vote to raise the debt ceiling without massive spending cuts, you'll be out of a job.
"Based on what I can see around the country," DeMint said in an interview with ABC News. "not only are those individuals gone, but I would suspect the Republican Party would be set back many years.
"It would be the most toxic vote," DeMint said. "I can tell you if you look at the polls, Democrats, Republicans, Independents, they do not think we should increase the debt limit."
On Thursday, the same day he quit the bipartisan debt ceiling negotiations chaired by Vice President Joe Biden, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor announced that the House would consider a balanced-budget amendment.
“House Republicans have made clear that we will not raise the debt limit without real spending cuts and binding budget process reforms to ensure that we don’t continue to max out the credit card,” Cantor said in a statement.
DeMint has been pushing Republican presidential candidates to sign a “Cut, Cap and Balance" pledge to oppose raising the debt limit without spending cuts and a balanced-budget amendment in order to win his endorsement in the 2012 race. He says that it will be a “dealbreaker” if they don't.
Already, four candidates have agreed to sign the pledge: former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty, Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), Herman Cain, and former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.).
More than 40 conservatives groups and 20 members of Congress have also signed on.