The federal government is set to hit its debt limit in the next few weeks. Without legislation raising the ceiling, the federal government faces the prospect of defaulting on its debt, unleashing a cascade of potentially catastrophic economic consequences. Republican leaders have indicated they will demand concessions from Democrats in exchange for their votes, but Rubio's standard is among the more concrete and far-reaching expressed so far and could raise Tea Party expectations going into negotiations.
Rubio is considered highly influential among the conservative grassroots and has fended off calls from a number of prominent figures on the right, including Rush Limbaugh, to run for President. He has kept a low profile in the Senate since being elected, but in addition to the op-ed, he participated in his first national television interview this week, with ABC News. In it, he batted down suggestions he run for President while keeping the door open to a vice presidential nomination, a position where he will likely get a serious look regardless of who wins the primary.