Will Ted Cruz's Health Care Speech Help or Hurt Republicans? (reposted)
The Texas senator's marathon floor speech against the health care law may damage his party
By TERESA WELSH
Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, who has been speaking on the Senate floor since 2:41 p.m. Tuesday afternoon, continues his quest to defund Obamacare. Cruz can't actually block a vote on the House continuing resolution that would defund the healthcare law, but continues speaking to signal his opposition.
The senator supports a government funding bill passed by the House that "defunds" Obamacare, but is trying to prevent Democratic Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid from bringing it up for a vote, because Reid would then be able to strip out the defund provision. Congress must pass a bill to continue funding the government by September 30, or else the government will shut down. The Senate is likely to pass the House bill sans the Obamacare defunding and send it back to that chamber.
Cruz vehemently opposes President Barack Obama's signature health care reform law, saying it will cost the government and taxpayers too much. Republicans contend that voters too are against the law, and need their representatives in Washington to fight for its removal.
Yet while Cruz's Republican colleagues also oppose the health care law, they don't agree with his methods of scrapping it. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who faces a primary challenger from his right in the 2014 election, doesn't support Cruz's faux filibuster. "We'd be hard-pressed to explain why we were opposed to a bill we're in favor of," said McConnell.