Sen. Cruz Ends Floor Speech after Almost 22 Hours - kcentv.com - KCEN HD - Waco, Temple, and Killeen

Sen. Cruz Ends Floor Speech after Almost 22 Hours

Posted: Updated:

UPDATE: Sept. 25, 2013, 11:20 a.m. -- Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas ended his floor speech against Obamacare Wednesday after almost 22 hours.

 


 

(NBC News) -- He does not like Obamacare, he does not like it anywhere.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz took to the Senate floor just after 2:41 p.m. on Tuesday, vowing to speak in opposition to the Affordable Care Act until he is "no longer able to stand."

And speak he did, well into the early hours of Wednesday morning. Cruz read Dr. Seuss' "Green Eggs and Ham" as he wished his children goodnight from the Capitol. He professed his love for White Castle burgers and even commended actor Ashton Kutcher for a recent award show speech. Between the padding, the freshman senator dipped into long monologues about his fierce opposition to President Barack Obama's health care law.

After more than 18 hours, there was no sign that the weary Cruz was prepared to stop until the Senate reconvenes later this morning for a vote he cannot stop. During that time, Cruz has not left the Senate floor, has not used the bathroom and has had just a few nibbles to eat. He has had short breaks to allow friendly colleagues to ask him long questions.

As he took the floor Tuesday afternoon, Cruz declared, "I rise today in opposition to Obamacare." But all the posturing amounts to little more than a very, very long speech. The display is not formally considered a filibuster because it is not being used to stop legislation – in this case a bill that would continue to fund the government.

The Senate will still proceed with a vote on Wednesday to take up legislation passed last week by Republicans in the House which would prevent a government shutdown but also contains provisions to stop funding the Affordable Care Act. Cruz is protesting the bill because Senate rules would allow Democrats to strip the part that would defund Obamacare.

"I intend to speak in support of defunding ObamaCare until I am no longer able to stand, to do everything that I can to help Americans stand together," the hard-charging Texas senator said.

Because of Majority Leader Harry Reid's move Monday to schedule a test vote on government funding for Wednesday morning, Cruz can't do anything on his own procedurally to delay the timing of that vote.

And as Cruz spoke, Reid aide Adam Jentleson tweeted that the Republican "pre-negotiated the terms of his #fakefilibuster with Senator Reid yesterday. Not exactly a Mr. Smith moment."

When asked how long he planned to speak, Cruz offered a wry response to reporters on Capitol Hill: "We shall see."

If Cruz managed to keep at least 60 of his fellow senators from supporting that Wednesday vote, he could prevent cutting off debate on the budget bill – and that would be a filibuster.

Cruz wants that procedural vote to fail, because – if the final government funding bill subsequently passed, Democrats would simply strip out the part of the legislation that deals with Obamacare, kicking the clean bill back to the House.

But Cruz has only a few allies in that attempt. Some of those supporters, Republican Sens. Mike Lee, David Vitter, Pat Roberts, Jeff Sessions, Marco Rubio, Jim Inhofe, and Mike Enzi had visited the Senate floor to ask their colleague a question, a tactic that allowed Cruz a temporary break from speaking.

Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul, who in March held a 13-hour filibuster, also took to the Senate floor to ask if Cruz would accept any sort of compromise that keeps the government open while revising the health care law.

Republicans "don't control all the government" Paul said while asking Cruz if he intended to shut down the government.

Cruz said he did not want to shut down the government, but would not be open to a middle ground and "will not vote for a continuing resolution that does not defund 'Obamacare.'"

Paul actually privately opposed Cruz's approach to the stopgap spending measure during a meeting with other GOP senators on Tuesday. Sources told NBC News that Paul joined with Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to help hasten the return of the spending measure to the House to give colleagues in the lower chamber more time to figure out how to proceed.

But most senior Republicans, including McConnell, will not be coming to Cruz's aid. They have said they will vote to cut off debate - which would enable Democrats to strip the provision to defund Obamacare, but - more importantly - also allow the process of reaching an agreement to fund the government to move forward.

On that note, Reid said Tuesday that he would seek to move forward with legislation to fund the government through mid-November, a more modest time frame than had initially been sought by lawmakers.

The political appeal, though, of a long speech – filibuster or no – is undeniable. Paul earned the adulation of conservatives for the filibuster he waged against the Obama administration's national security practices and its use of drones.

Paul's effort back in March to hold up the president's nominee to lead the CIA was the first time the tactic had been used since 2010.

"We saw something incredible happen at that time...and it transformed the debate," Cruz said Tuesday, commending Paul's effort.

Cruz, like Paul, has possible designs on the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, and his speech against Obamacare – the program so hated by conservatives – could help endear him to the party's base.

  • Latest NewsMore>>

  • 4-Year-Old Boy Banned From Doughnut Shop By Managers For Being 'Rude'

    4-Year-Old Boy Banned From Doughnut Shop By Managers For Being 'Rude'

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 10:16 PM EDT2014-07-24 02:16:11 GMT
    MONROE, CT (WFSB) - Kids say the darndest things, but one local inquisitive 4-year-old boy asked a question that got him banned from a Monroe doughnut shop. "We were screamed at in front of the door, ‘he's not allowed in here, he's rude'," said Rebecca Denham as she described her experience at the Doughnut Inn on Tuesday morning. Denham said her son, Justin Otero, asked a woman at the doughnut shop if she had a baby in her belly. When the woman said ‘No' Otero apologized, and his mother said ...More >>
    MONROE, CT (WFSB) - Kids say the darndest things, but one local inquisitive 4-year-old boy asked a question that got him banned from a Monroe doughnut shop. "We were screamed at in front of the door, ‘he's not allowed in here, he's rude'," said Rebecca Denham as she described her experience at the Doughnut Inn on Tuesday morning. Denham said her son, Justin Otero, asked a woman at the doughnut shop if she had a baby in her belly. When the woman said ‘No' Otero apologized, and his mother said ...More >>
  • Inmate Gasped, Snorted During Two-Hour Execution In Execution

    Inmate Gasped, Snorted During Two-Hour Execution In Execution

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 9:47 PM EDT2014-07-24 01:47:25 GMT
    (NBC NEWS) -- An Arizona execution took nearly two hours on Wednesday, and witnesses said the inmate gasped and snorted for well over an hour after the lethal injection The execution of double-murderer Joseph Wood — which Arizona carried out with a two-drug combination it had never before tried — is certain to fan the debate over how U.S. states carry out the death penalty. "I've never witnessed an execution that took that long," defense lawyer Dale Baich told NBC News. "The state of Ari...More >>
    (NBC NEWS) -- An Arizona execution took nearly two hours on Wednesday, and witnesses said the inmate gasped and snorted for well over an hour after the lethal injection The execution of double-murderer Joseph Wood — which Arizona carried out with a two-drug combination it had never before tried — is certain to fan the debate over how U.S. states carry out the death penalty. "I've never witnessed an execution that took that long," defense lawyer Dale Baich told NBC News. "The state of Ari...More >>
  • New Army Regulation Could Help Honor Fallen

    New Army Regulation Could Help Honor Fallen

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 9:28 PM EDT2014-07-24 01:28:00 GMT
    (KCEN) – One of the Army’s new appearance regulations could boost an effort to honor fallen and wounded post-9/11 heroes around Fort Hood. The local Fisher House has been on a mission since the spring to collect combat boots needed to line the route of the Hero and Remembrance Run, Walk and Roll in October. The changes to dress regulations that took effect this spring include limits on whether troops can wear some non-issue combat boots. Now the Fisher House wants to get the word out about t...More >>
    (KCEN) – One of the Army’s new appearance regulations could boost an effort to honor fallen and wounded post-9/11 heroes around Fort Hood. The local Fisher House has been on a mission since the spring to collect combat boots needed to line the route of the Hero and Remembrance Run, Walk and Roll in October. The changes to dress regulations that took effect this spring include limits on whether troops can wear some non-issue combat boots. Now the Fisher House wants to get the word out about t...More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KCEN. All Rights Reserved. Users of this site agree to the Terms of Service, Privacy Notice/Your California Privacy Rights, and Ad Choices.