small but vocal group of Republicans, including some freshmen, in both chambers are rebelling against their party leaders as they form what they hope is an impenetrable firewall against a debt-limit deal that would exclude significant spending cuts and a balanced budget constitutional amendment.

The “Cut, Cap, Balance” pledge has been signed by just 12 senators and 28 House members. Their mission is to oppose any move to raise the borrowing limit unless it’s accompanied by significant spending cuts and caps, and to pass a balanced-budget amendment to the Constitution.

But by setting a high bar for a debt-limit vote, the conservative rabble-rousers virtually ensure that House Republicans, who hold 240 seats in the lower chamber, will need the support of some Democrats to reach the 218-vote threshold for passage of a debt-limit increase. And that’s a tall order as some Democrats are already pledging to block any deal that cuts key priorities.

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