September 20th, 2013
03:18 PM ET
9 years ago

Ted Cruz: Obamacare fight 'just beginning'

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.

House Republicans question Cruz’s Obamacare-defunding fervor

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.

Filed under: Health care • House Republicans • Ted Cruz
soundoff (36 Responses)
  1. douglas m bryan

    the Republicans in the House will never learn.

    September 20, 2013 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  2. rs

    International Brotherhood of Teamsters, UFCW, UNITE-HERE support the repeal of Obamacare

    Three unions stand with the Republicans to stop the Obamacare train wreck. It will destroy the middle class and the 40 hour work week that built this country.
    yeah, sure they do. Since Reagan creamed the FAA Air Control workers, there has been zero support for unions from the Right- they have assailed the rights of the working man for more than 40 years now. Hang with them, and the unions are done.

    September 20, 2013 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  3. rs

    sonny chapman

    If we renamed it "The Bob Dole/Richard Nixon/Mitt Romney Personal Responsibility Health Care Act" would Repubs. still hate it ?
    Yes, Cruz will tell you those guys were RINOs anyway.

    September 20, 2013 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  4. Wake up People!

    I can't believe the biggest union basher on this board is now pretending he cares about them. Hilarious.
    Peace people. I have a life to live!!

    September 20, 2013 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  5. Malory Archer


    The legislation was approved on a party-line 230-189 vote, with Rep. Scott Rigell (Va.) the only GOP "no" vote. Two Democrats voted for the measure: Reps. Jim Matheson (Utah) and Mike McIntyre (N.C.).

    Bipartisan support in the House to not defund Obamacare! Very good!! But disappointing that only one House Republican cares more about their party and saving face than saving their country and YOUR healthcare system. Wake up America. You need to get rid of as many of these neocons as you can in 2014.


    September 20, 2013 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  6. Wake up People!

    I guess Al Quada can relax, the GOP has taken over their job....

    September 20, 2013 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  7. Malory Archer


    A majority of the American people want Obamacre GONE. We stand behind the Republicans in this matter.


    I'm sorry, but no matter how many times you repeat that, it will always remain a lie.

    September 20, 2013 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  8. Mr. Moderate

    If you're so bent on defunding ObamaCare, how about an alternative. As part of the defunding propose a SPECIFIC alternative that makes sure the citizens have health care. If you don't do that, we will know how shallow your intentions really are.

    September 20, 2013 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  9. rs

    Wake up People!

    I guess Al Quada can relax, the GOP has taken over their job....
    Perhaps its time to treat them the same way. I hear Cuba is nice this time of year.

    September 20, 2013 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  10. wmontanye


    What's this we crap speak for yourself not me.

    September 20, 2013 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  11. don in albuquerque

    Didn't this fight end somewhere around forty votes, and several million wasted dollars ago. Go back to Texas, Ted, they like irrelevance.

    September 20, 2013 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
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