September 23rd, 2013
07:55 PM ET
9 years 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)

    2010 Buyer 's remorse riddles the GOP. Loose cannon Rapheal Cruz painted them into another corner.

    September 24, 2013 05:29 am at 5:29 am |
  2. Neutral Observer

    I sure hope the close down Obama care. This was passed quite unilaterally so I can't imagine why they would have any personal feelings to defend it.

    September 24, 2013 06:07 am at 6:07 am |
  3. aCriticalEye

    We have got to get rid of these nut jobs in congress. Tesax, why dont you just sucede and go back to Mexico!

    September 24, 2013 06:22 am at 6:22 am |
  4. Marie MD

    I think Canadians are wonderful people but this Canadian who thinks he can be our president fool warning our congress? Go back to Canada and stay there if they want you.
    Actually no man is an island but rafael's best place to go to besides the obvious is, with his father, back to Cuba. There's an island fit for him.

    September 24, 2013 06:28 am at 6:28 am |
  5. Name jk. Sfl. GOP conservatives,the garbage of America.

    The pee wee Herman look a like teaparty clown Cruz , the one half of one term freshman waste of taxpayers money should not be listen to by senate veterans of the GOP or anybody else in his fieble attempt to defund obamacare. This shows that you can go to Harvard and still end up to be a stupid moron!!!!

    September 24, 2013 06:28 am at 6:28 am |
  6. W.G.

    Cruz doesn´t care about the U.S. he´s interested in power . He and the republican party just do not care
    about the lives they´ve ruined and the kids they starve and refuse to properly educate . Is it any wonder
    that we´re like 20th place in education for our kids . The republicans are totallyresponcible for the condition
    that America is in . They want you to think it´s Mr. Obamas policies that have brought us to the Brink of
    financial ruin but in reality it´s the 2 wars we have yet to pay for plus all their tax breaks for the rich !
    Republicans , who needs em !

    September 24, 2013 06:40 am at 6:40 am |
  7. boungiorno

    senetor cruz will use all the courage he has to see the change he believes in

    September 24, 2013 07:41 am at 7:41 am |
  8. Jay

    You know the funniest thing about Harry Reid and the rest of his tight knit democratic allies, they are the most racist group of people in the congress. Just look up what Harry Reid said about Obama in 2010, I think CNN still has it online, where Reid apologized for his remarks about Obama. I think Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi are pulling more strings behind the scenes than we all realize. Obama might just be a puppet for them.

    September 24, 2013 07:44 am at 7:44 am |
  9. TomInRochNY

    If Obamacare is a train wreck why not just let it crash and burn on its own? Unless . . .

    September 24, 2013 07:46 am at 7:46 am |
  10. Kurt

    Cruz is insane.

    September 24, 2013 07:54 am at 7:54 am |
  11. ounceoflogic

    I'm quite certain that Ted Cruz wasn't counting on Mitch McConnell's support. McConnell is a snake with no spine for a fight, who is willing to hand o'bama everything he wants as long as he (Mitch) keeps his seat. I for one intend to do all that I can to assure that McConnell is not the RINO Senator from Kentucky after the next election.

    September 24, 2013 08:08 am at 8:08 am |
  12. The Real Tom Paine

    Ted Cruz having his moment in the spotlight is more important than funding the government: just remember that when you consider casting a vote for the craven cowards that will support him, rather than doing the right thing.

    September 24, 2013 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
  13. MichaelName

    What is important , is to see that all Amercains have health care .
    By have everyone payin to health care and have insurance the health care providers can adjust the cost down to off set the loses of financing those that don't have insurance and in return have more income .
    When a person payes cash he or she my are may not pay the full amount . If a person has insurance then the cost of caring is payed for.
    If the cost of caring is not payed for the cost to those that have insurance spikes to off set the loses taken by those that cannot pay .
    The end result is that there is hope of self correcting health care cost when every body pays.

    September 24, 2013 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  14. Wake up People!

    That's right GOP you better do what you are told!

    They're like the band on the Titanic, playing until they sink.

    Oh well, happy trails terrorists!

    September 24, 2013 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  15. jinx9to88

    Let me get this straight, Cruz is trying to filibuster the bill? Say it isnt. So a GOP good for nothing is filibustering their own bill? WOW!

    September 24, 2013 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  16. jinx9to88

    This guy might be bipolar. He bashes the Dems in the Senate and now he asking Harry Reid for a favor. He finally realizes now what the whole United States already knew and that is the GOP does have the power to stop Obamacare.

    September 24, 2013 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  17. Rudy NYC

    A house divided against itself cannot stand. That holds true for a house, a country, and a political party. Right now, it is the Republican Party that is dividing itself, and the country along with it. The most guilty party is Sen. Cruz, who seems to be engaged in some sort of ritual crusade that can only end badly for him.

    So, let's test Cruz then. It would take a rather greasy weasel to slip out of the political death grip that Cruz has erected around him. I propose a weasel test. It's a no-win scenario for Cruz' political future, but I'm curious to see how it turns out. Will he join up with his own dreaded "surrender caucus"? Or will he demonstrate that he's coated with pure, greasy political slime and weasel out of his current predicament, not only smelling like a rose but managing to project blame elsewhere. So far, he's been looking pretty slimy to me.

    September 24, 2013 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  18. just me

    This isn't about principles or what's best for the nation for Ted. This is about Ted and what's best for his political aspirations.

    September 24, 2013 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  19. GOP = Greed Over People

    Ditto, Tampa Tim very well stated.

    September 24, 2013 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  20. Rudy NYC

    from the article:

    "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."
    Allow me to translate this for you. Sen. Cruz cowardly informed Sen. Reid that he wanted to invoke a "silent filibuster", and Reid correctly turned him down. Bringing the bill to the floor for a cloture, a simple majority, vote will force Sen. Cruz onto the Senate floor so that he can "show his love" for all of the American People to see by actively filibustering the bill, instead of silently sitting behind a closed door like Mr. Bigshot.

    September 24, 2013 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  21. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    So, a Junior Senator is threatening his fellows. Bet that serves him well when he doesn't get the committee assignments he wants, and gets fired from the ones he is on.

    September 24, 2013 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  22. Fair is Fair

    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!!!!!
    Or the resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

    September 24, 2013 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  23. ghostwriter

    petevc, I would kinda agree with you. Except this bill was passed in 2010. We've had 3 years to fix anything that's wrong with it. Instead, republicans spent that time on politically driven fake scandals, a record number of filibusters (possibly adding another one) and 40 some odd votes to repeal it. It's a little late in the game to offer constructive criticism.

    September 24, 2013 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  24. jinx9to88

    @ boungiorno –

    senetor cruz will use all the courage he has to see the change he believes in


    Going back to the previous healthcare policies is hardly a "change".

    September 24, 2013 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
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