Washington (CNN) – Sen. Ted Cruz used Friday's House vote to defund Obamacare to issue his own rallying cry against the law.
"The House was just step one. Step two is the Senate," the Texan said in a statement.
Cruz's words come at the end of a week where he's taken a beating from his Republican compatriots in the House of Representatives, who accuse the Texas Senator of not being committed enough in his quest to dismantle Obamacare.
On Friday, Cruz mentioned neither a government shutdown nor House Republican criticism by the likes of Rep. Peter King, who has called Cruz "a fraud." Instead, Cruz's focus was on what he said is the destructiveness of Obamacare and the need for a united GOP.
"Now is a time for party unity; Senate Republicans should stand side-by-side with courageous House Republicans," Cruz said.
"The fight to save America from Obamacare is just beginning – it may well go back and forth from the House and Senate several times – and a united Republican front means that [Senate Majority Leader] Harry Reid and the President cannot ignore the American people."
The language is some of the strongest Cruz has used on Obamacare this week. While Cruz spent much of the summer trying to build a "tsunami" of grass-roots support against Obamacare, statements earlier this week left House Republicans feeling as if they were hanging in the wind.
In a statement issued by Cruz and fellow Senate anti-Obamacare stalwarts Mike Lee and Marco Rubio, Cruz said that Reid and Senate Democrats would "no doubt try to strip the defund language from the continuing resolution, and right now he likely has the votes to do so."
"At that point, House Republicans must stand firm, hold their ground, and continue to listen to the American people," Cruz said.
House conservatives quickly attacked Cruz for taking the onus of defeating Obamacare off the Senate. King, himself no fan of tying the plan to defund Obamacare with the continuing resolution to fund the government, said Friday that his Republican colleague in the Senate, "is a fraud" who will "no longer have any influence in the Republican Party" after the House vote, which could potentially lead to a government shutdown.
Even those in the House supportive of Cruz's anti-Obamacare stance were extremely critical of the couched language.
While he hadn't seen Cruz's statement at the time, Rep. Blake Farenthold, a fellow Texan, said the House GOP had given Cruz and other GOP Senators "what they asked for; I was more hopeful they would be more positive about it and fight for it."
Cruz has been on the defensive ever since. He's said he wants "to commend" members of the House and Republican leadership "for sticking their neck out" on the issue. Cruz has said he'll do whatever it takes to defund Obamacare, even a filibuster on the Senate floor.
–CNN's Ashley Killough, Deirdre Walsh and Ann Caldwell contributed to this report.