Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) threatened to shut the government down if Obamacare wasn’t defunded, but Democrats called Cruz’s bluff and rejected his amendment to defund Obamacare, 45-52.
Before the vote Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT), Jim Inhofe (R-OK) and Rand Paul (R-KY) joined Cruz for a press conference where they threatened to shutdown the government if the Senate did not vote to defund Obamacare. Cruz said, “I think it’s the right position for Republicans to be taking. And I think it would be exactly the right decision to then send it back to Harry Reid and President Obama and ask if Harry Reid and President Obama are willing to try to shut the government down in order to insist that Obamacare be fully funded now even though it could well push us into a recession.”
Senate Democrats weren’t buying what the tea party senators were selling. They rejected the Cruz Amendment by a party line vote of 45-52. All the Democrats voted against the amendment, while all Senate Republicans voted for it. The Cruz Amendment was more empty political grandstanding from a party that is more interested in playing to their base, than they are actually governing.
If by some act of the unholy the Cruz Amendment would have passed President Obama would have certainty vetoed the entire continuing resolution, so this whole exercise was completely pointless. Cruz’s floor speech on his amendment was loaded with the Obamacare lies that the far right is so fond of, but just like House Republicans’ nearly three dozen attempts to repeal Obamacare, this was another Republican waste of taxpayer dollars.
The truth is that Senators like Cruz and Paul are looking for any reason to shut down the government, but they are in the distinct minority within their own caucus. Ted Cruz wants to be president. Rand Paul and Marco Rubio also want to be president. Today’s publicity stunt was all about courting future Republican primary voters.
The American people want jobs, but Senate Republicans are still trying to repeal Obamacare. If Cruz wants to use Obamacare to try to shutdown the government, the message from Senate Democrats was, “Go ahead, make my day.”
Mr. Easley is the managing editor, who is White House Press Pool, and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association