Cruz calls for backup plans in government funding crisis
September 22nd, 2013
12:22 PM ET
9 years ago

Cruz calls for backup plans in government funding crisis

Washington (CNN) - Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas said Sunday that Republicans may filibuster when the Senate considers a bill passed by the House last week that funds the government but defunds Obamacare.

Cruz said the filibuster could come if Senate Democrats try to strip the bill of language cutting funding of Obamacare and try to pass cloture, meaning that a simple majority would allow the bill to pass.

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"If the majority is going to run the minority over with a train, the minority has the ability to stop them," Cruz said on "Fox News Sunday."

If that's the route Democrats want to take, he added, they'll be the ones responsible for a potential government shutdown.

"I believe we should stand our ground, and I don't believe (Senate Majority Leader) Harry Reid or Barack Obama should shut down the federal government," Cruz said. "The House voted last week to fund the federal government. If Harry Reid kills that, Harry Reid is responsible for shutting down the government."

But his Republican colleague in the Senate, Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, said Senate Republican's "don't have the political power to do this."

"We are not about to shut the government down over the fact that we cannot–only controlling one house of Congress–tell the president that we are not going to fund any portion of this, because we can't do that," Coburn said on CBS' "Face the Nation."

Read: Ted Cruz: Obamacare fight 'just beginning'

Cruz has rankled members of his own party in the House because many say he has put them on the hook for a bill that they know can't pass the Senate and will set the stage for a government shutdown.

Read: Peter King: Ted Cruz 'is a fraud'

As for next steps, if the House and Senate aren't able to come to an agreement, Cruz suggested smaller actions to keep parts of the government funded.

"I think the House should hold its ground and should continue passing smaller continuing resolutions one department at a time. It should start with a continuing resolution focused on the military. Send it over and let's see if Harry Reid is willing to shut down the military just because he wants to force Obamacare on the American people," Cruz said.

But the House already did pass a bill on July 24 that funds the military through September 30, 2014.

Read: Cruz tries to make amends with angry conservatives

More broadly though, Cruz said the only way to break a stalemate may be to recruit Senate Democrats from red states and bring them over to the side of Republicans.

If the two sides can't come together, government funding will run out by the end of the month.

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who campaigned last year for Cruz in Texas, came to the senator's defense in an opinion piece written for Breitbart.

"If the Senate doesn't get behind Ted Cruz's efforts to defund Obamacare, it won't be because of any failure on Ted's part. It'll be because there weren't enough principled leaders to stand with him, and that would be a tragic loss, not for Ted, but for America," she wrote.

Filed under: Budget • Congress • Ted Cruz
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. ST

    What I have come to learn so far is: these people who belong to the Grand Old Party don't communicate at all. If Rand Paul says we are doomed to fail in defunding "Obamacare", and the Canadian born citizen Ted Cruz says something different, this gives me hope that this Party sooner or later will fall apart in pieces if not in one piece.

    September 22, 2013 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  2. ThinkAgain

    Repubs in the House just voted to cut food aid for millions of kids, who had the bad luck to be born into poor families, many of whom are classified as the "working poor," meaning one or both of the parents are employed, but at low-paying jobs.

    76% of households receiving food stamp ("SNAP" benefits) recipients included a child, an elderly person, or a disabled person. These vulnerable households receive 83% of all SNAP benefits. (Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service. Characteristics of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Households: Fiscal Year 2011. Table A.14. November 2012.)

    So, Mr. Cruz, tell me again how the GOP is the "pro-family" party?

    September 22, 2013 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  3. Jeffro211

    A dangerous individual who will sacrifice everybody but himself.

    September 22, 2013 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  4. Progressive Texan

    Right, Mr. Cruz. Like your extreme right wing ideology isn't rolling over the will of millions of Texans who didn't vote for you. Did you ever hear of a concept called “majority rules”? And remember, there are still people here in the South who blame Lincoln for starting the Civil War because he refused to give the order to relinquish Fort Sumter to the Confederate army. You are using the exact same line of reasoning to blame the President and patriotic Democrats in Congress for a government shutdown. If it happens, the blame will fall squarely on your shoulders. The American people, whom you mistakenly claim to represent, do not support your position. Only the narrow special interests do. You don't even speak for all Texans, let alone the American people.

    September 22, 2013 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  5. Tampa Tim

    The 24% of Americans who want to repeal Obamacare do not represent the majority. As for the senate less than 50 senators have held our country hostage.

    September 22, 2013 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  6. freedom

    Cruz control – that's what the county needs –

    September 22, 2013 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  7. Catmandew

    Cruz you really need a reality check! I don't like Obamacare or it's mandates but I do not believe this is the way to fix it. You really need to offer alternatives or constructive criticism. There's alot of ways to get there from here we just need to find another way. Anyhow you need to get to work and earn your money I am not paying you to sit there and do nothing get a budget made and pass it! Quit flying all over the country wasting my money if you don't get to work we might not have a country by 2016 and it won't matter.

    September 22, 2013 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    I can't say I feel sorry for anyone stupid enough to send this man money. His supporters deserve what they get for thinking Cruz is out for anyone but himself. I hope he takes all his supporters to the cleaners politically and monetarily. It is the only way they'll learn. The same applies to Rand Paul. If ever two egotists were out for themselves it would be these two.

    September 22, 2013 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  9. old guy in West Virginia

    Instead of holding the entire country and its economy hostage to yet another cynically pointless "defund Obamacare" ploy, the GOP would be far better advised to actually come up with an alternative to Obamacare. Has there ever, EVER been a serious "replace" component to "repeal and replace"?? Didn't think so . . . Until such a times as these folks can present a truly viable (and thus serious) alternative, all they are are loathsome saboteurs. So when even your fellow Republicans are telling you to shut the hell up, Ted Cruz, you should do just that: shut the hell up!

    September 22, 2013 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    If the clown car stalls itself on the tracks, it will get run over by the "train".
    The Teapublicans are stalled on a "one track" of obstruction, full of blustering threats, and ideas that have
    already been implemented, ie military funding.
    Ted Cruz is nothing more than a self-centered bully.
    Not once have I heard anything from this guy that suggests compromise or working together to improve
    the health care act.
    Furthermore, anyone who Palin "defends" just becomes more alienated from reality. Huffing and puffing
    shows little intelligence. I don't care how many degress he has, he lacks common sense, and he
    should be ashamed, but arrogance knows no shame.

    September 22, 2013 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  11. Michael Benjamin

    Cruz is the 21st century incarnation of McCarthy. Although a freshman senator, his diatribes are becoming quite tiresome.

    September 22, 2013 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  12. the hippies were right

    What these confused GOPers aren't getting is, they lost the last election. The majority of Americans disagree with their policies. The majority of Americans approved of the ACA (regardless of what Fox says) or they would not have re elected Obama. So it seems pretty simple to believe the majority of Americans are going to blame the GOP for holding our economy hostage, not the democrats for trying to stop them from holding our economy hostage. DUH! The tea party has a loud voice, but the majority of us are laughing at it! The biggest comedy event ever will take place in November of 2014!

    September 22, 2013 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  13. rs

    The GOP is already committing suicide, so just what sort of "back-up" plan is Sen. McCart... Cruz actually thinking about?

    September 22, 2013 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  14. Woman In California

    Seriously, I think Cruz is the messenger we've been waiting for. Rand Paul is a debilitated candidate and at most, can only attract "the same brainwashed crowd" besides, everyone knows the Paul's can't win on ANY national ballot. It just might be, through Cruz' ignorance and missteps, that the TP crumbles and burns FOREVER. One can certainly hope–so behalf of most grateful Americans, thank you senator.

    September 22, 2013 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  15. Rick McDaniel

    I think nothing is going to improve in this country, until the Dems no longer control our government. Until that time, we will see our debt go up and up, and our freedoms go down and down, and the government seize control of every aspect of our lives,

    September 22, 2013 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  16. Leftcoastrocky

    Sen. Claire McCaskill: "I don't think in America we should throw tantrums when we lose elections and threaten to shut down the government and refuse to pay the bills."

    September 22, 2013 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  17. Len

    Palin and is all I can say!!!!

    September 22, 2013 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  18. labman57

    Yet another example of a Republican who refuses to let reality undermine his nonsensical rhetoric.
    In other words, Teddy Cruz is channeling his inner Bachmann.

    September 22, 2013 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  19. S. B. Stein

    How is it that there is no talking between the sides? That needs to be going now between the leadership of the House and Senate. The majority and minority leaders need to be talking about what they want and can get from their caucuses. That is the problem is that there is too little talking with each other and way too much yelling ideological drivel.

    September 22, 2013 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  20. FMac43

    Ask yourself this question..If someone you care about needed healthcare at an affordable rate, and is willing to pay an affordable price, but all premiums were over $500 per month therefore out of reach for your loved one; would you watch that person die from an illness just to maintain your political position? If your answer is "Yes", please seek help immediately from your local clergy or mental health provider. Google this.."purchase health insurance". That is where you will find the truth about the cost of health insurance. Then Google "medical treatment cost" to find the truth about the profits being sucked from the bodies of the ill.”

    September 22, 2013 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  21. michael

    Because of the mass media networks letting these neocon nutjobs rant their extremist ideology, they have been able to poison the political process! Because, when they are being interviewed or questioned no media network especially foxnews will hold them accountable with the trujth, but let them spue their nonsense without being checked and shown for the manipulators, liars, anarchist, deceivers they are! If, any news network when interviewing Cruz or others advocating funding the government, if obamacare is defunded! This spin job should have been revealed and shown for the misleading manipulating political ploy it really is! But, no news media has a backbone for truth anymore!

    September 22, 2013 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |