September 23rd, 2013
07:55 PM ET
1 year ago

Cruz warns Senate Republicans not to break his filibuster

Updated 9/23/2013 10:12 p.m. ET
Washington (CNN) – Sen. Ted Cruz’s message to his fellow Republicans as the potential government shutdown looms is clear: A cloture vote for the continuing resolution is a vote in favor of Obamacare.

In an interview with CNN, Cruz rejected the notion that his plan to pass a continuing resolution in the Senate that defunds Obamacare is doomed to failure. He called on Republicans to vote against cloture on the bill that would bring it to an up or down vote.

“Any senator who votes for cloture on this bill is voting to give Harry Reid the authority to fund Obamacare with just 51 votes,” Cruz said.

“I hope and believe Senate Republicans will stand united.”

The cloture opposition is an unusual one, given that it effectively keeps Republicans from voting on the very bill on which Cruz has staked virtually all his political capital.

According to Cruz, he asked Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to agree on a 60-vote requirement to pass the funding bill, which Reid refused. Reid instead is pushing for cloture, which would bring the bill to a final vote that requires only a simple majority.

The continuing resolution to fund the government needs to be passed by September 30 to avoid a government shutdown, a process made harried by Republicans attaching language to the bill that defunds President Barack Obama’s signature health care law. Senate Democrats have said such a move is a nonstarter.

Shutdown showdown: How it plays out this week

Cruz is becoming increasingly isolated among congressional Republicans, even after the House of Representatives passed a continuing resolution last week on a party-line vote that did exactly what the Texas senator has called for. The House did so after spending several days last week bashing Cruz for being noncommittal on a defund vote, trying to take the onus off the Senate and placing it firmly with the House.

House Republicans question Cruz’s Obamacare-defunding fervor

Responding to that backlash, Cruz has signaled he is prepared to filibuster any move by Senate Democrats to remove the defunding language. Most Senate Republicans would likely support such a filibuster, but it is looking like they won’t have the 40 votes necessary to keep Democrats from ending floor debate.

Cruz tries to make amends with angry conservatives

Chief among the Republican opponents of any filibuster is Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who said Monday that he will vote to end any expected filibusters of the government funding bill this week. It remains to be seen how the move will affect the tea party challenge McConnell is facing in his Kentucky re-election bid.

An aide to McConnell said the senator would vote against stripping out the defunding language.

Several other Republicans have also said they will vote the same way, making it apparent Democrats will be able to get the 60 votes needed to break the filibusters and then take out the defunding language.

Whatever the odds, Cruz is pushing on. He called votes in the Senate “fluid” and argued that a vote against cloture would be one in favor of the health care law, because it would end debate and allow for a party-line vote instead of a supermajority vote that Cruz prefers.

“I hope all 46 Senate Republicans stand united against cloture on this bill,” Cruz said.

“Voting for cloture is voting to cut off debate. What I’m saying is Republicans should say no, let's not cut off debate until Harry Reid agrees not to use 51 votes to fund Obamacare. We should keep debating this. There's nothing we have more important to do.”

–CNN Senior Congressional Producer Ted Barrett contributed to this report


Filed under: Ted Cruz
soundoff (49 Responses)
  1. Tampa Tim

    A vote for cloture is a vote for seniors, veterans, our military and our government. A vote against cloture is a vote for the destruction of our country.

    September 23, 2013 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  2. Dallas

    OMG can't we please recall this lunatic. He shows no respect for anyone, not even his own colleagues. He is an obstructionist plain and simple and has no business in the U.S. Senate.

    September 23, 2013 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  3. Gary

    Hey Ted, only one person is on your side. Thats dear old Sarah. That alone should scare you. No one believes you.
    Go back to Cuba or Canada, wherever your from. Oh yeah, take Sarah with you too.

    September 23, 2013 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  4. joe

    this guy is a real wacko. he is killing the republican party with his radical approach to government. wake up GOP. as a independent voter he is making the republican party look like nut cases. the moderates and mainstream republicans need to start coming forward and speaking out against this fanatical approach.

    September 23, 2013 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  5. Zerubbabel

    Yeah Ted, it is an abomination to allow 48 million fellow citizens to enjoy the dignity and benefits of comprehensive health care. I guess only congress should have tax payer funded health care. We need to join the rest of the developed world and implement a single payer health care system. Like the one that was implemented nearly 2000 years ago, by His stripes we are healed. It is funny how the right carries His name on their platform and on the banner of who they are, but neglect the examples and teachings. I guess better found to be a hypocrite than a flat out liar, huh. Once the people experience the benefits and cost savings for those who are poor to middle class by this Heritage devised plan yovr TP will be exposed for the frauds that they are. Yes, we are our brothers keeper. By the way, how well is that dreaded Romneycare working in Mass?

    September 23, 2013 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  6. Floyd from Illinois

    Cruz and the Tea Party are driving off the edge of the cliff. And they think they're winning, right up to the moment they land at the bottom.

    September 23, 2013 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  7. Anonymous

    I looked up Cruz's voting record. Virtually every nay vote he cast, the Bill passed. Every yea vote cast the Bill failed.
    One exception, the votes on background checks, and all other gun related Bills.
    The only Bill he introduced was to defund "Obamacare". He sponsored other Bills. He has offered nothing
    constructive and is on an ego trip that almost outshines Rove's.
    This guy is getting more rabid and disfunctionable every day.
    If his only supporter is Sarah Palin – he is close to destroying everything he hoped to accomplish. I hope the
    trend continues and we are rid of him as soon as possible.

    September 23, 2013 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  8. Radgast

    I am hearing a lot of things from people but very few can explain to me how Obamacare is worse then the capital health insurance system; Unless, you are trying to profit off of peoples illness at the sake of their health. For those who don't want or have any insurance, who pays for your emergency when you don't? I do.

    September 23, 2013 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  9. Vence

    To repeal Obamacare Republicans lack the most important ingredient. Latino power.

    September 23, 2013 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  10. MaryM

    Now this fool Ted Cruz wants to filibuster the bill that just passed the House. GQ called Ted the wacko bird from Texas, and they are correct

    September 23, 2013 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  11. Larry in Houston

    so cruz is "warning" who ?? LOL – sounds like it could be compared to a High School kid "warning" a College kid.

    September 23, 2013 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  12. Tampa Tim

    From what I have seen of republicans, Cruz scares the crap out of them, and they will do whatever he says.

    September 23, 2013 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  13. Tampa Tim

    Cruz appears to be somewhat unstable.

    September 23, 2013 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  14. Name jk. Sfl. GOP conservatives,the garbage of America.

    Cruz is nothing more then a teaparty fraud, the clown of the GOP who will never even get realected, who would even vote for this GOP trash and his showboating will cost him his job in his next election because the truth is , the teaparty is just a bag of hot air,1% of 200,000000 voters and we are the rest!!!!!!

    September 23, 2013 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  15. Name jk. Sfl. GOP conservatives,the garbage of America.

    I guess it just goes to show a degree from Harvard doesn't prevent you from being the dumbest person in the senate and the biggest failure!!!!!

    September 23, 2013 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  16. S. B. Stein

    Cruz is just creating fear for no good reason. The law was sustained by the supreme court. If these people want to repeal the law, then do it without threatening to shut down everything else. I also wonder what their alternative is because without that, it is useless to try to repeal the ACA.

    September 23, 2013 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  17. basedonfact

    So funding it with 51 votes is bad but defunding it with 41 votes is ok?

    September 23, 2013 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  18. don in albuquerque

    And anyone who is afraid of this mouth should probably quit anyway. This guy is so far from being an American it is sad. But then you have to consider he is a Canadian, elected in Texas.

    September 23, 2013 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  19. petevc

    Ted Cruz has staked his political career on this one issue, but he also has the people on his side. House members heard from in excess of 1.5 million people before their vote in favor of defunding last week. A fact which CNN did not report in this article. Senate Democrats may hear from over 2 million people this week before they vote to defund. When the republicans shut down the government the last time, what broke out was 4% unemployment, a welfare to work program! and a balanced budget. The country would be better off if Senate Democrats listened to a Republicans and balanced the budget by delaying Obamacare till it's fixed and cutting back on welfare cutting out waste and fraud and balancing the budget. This is the patriotic course. Default is the least of our financial worries. Crash and burn is more like it if we add 2 trillion more to our debt and put millions more on the unemployment roles.

    September 23, 2013 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  20. Dixie

    I would hope that the senate would do more than just debate this. I will not vote for anyone that does not try to rid this mess from our counrty. It is a pack of lies. Everything that we were told about this bill was and is a lie. The parts of this that was suppost to make it affordable were postponed. We are just suppose to suck it up and pay for a mess. Well we didn't make it and shouldn't have to live with it.

    September 24, 2013 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  21. norma jean

    I'm sure that the Republican voters realize that everything this person.. {not a man}....is trying to do to the Democrats will, in the long run hurt them equally.....This arrogant jerk doesn't care about Repubs...,Dems or any one but himself.....He honestly thinks he has what it takes to be president but only knows how by stepping on all of us.....Every thing he proposes will hurt the little people who can't fight back....both parties!!! He doesn't care as long as he gets what HE wants.....If the current plans go through....the people that will be hurt are the innocent people of both parties that have no say in what is happening...If we can maintain until then.....our votes will save us...remember...both parties will be hurt!!!!!!!!!!.

    September 24, 2013 12:36 am at 12:36 am |
  22. Dr. J

    Elected officials are good at two things; getting elected and wasting time.

    September 24, 2013 12:54 am at 12:54 am |
  23. Cara

    Cruz is increasingly desperate and it shows.

    September 24, 2013 01:09 am at 1:09 am |
  24. a65442

    Maybe this will be the last of this Cruz character and his stupid ways!

    September 24, 2013 02:55 am at 2:55 am |
  25. Teej

    It would be impressive to see the senate republicans take back control of their party.

    September 24, 2013 03:11 am at 3:11 am |
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