Throwing down the gauntlet, Republican Sen. Jim DeMint threatened Monday to block a vote in Congress on raising the U.S. debt ceiling unless he wins a balanced-budget amendment to the Constitution.

The filibuster threat comes a day after Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner suggested Republican leaders had offered private assurances to the White House that they ultimately would vote to raise the $14.3 trillion ceiling, regardless of whether a deal is reached on long-term spending cuts.

Publicly, Republicans say they will demand spending cuts as a condition for supporting a hike in the debt ceiling. They stood by that claim following Geithner’s comments, and DeMint took their demands a step further.

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