Cruz: ‘Significant Number of Senate Republicans Currently Intend…to Allow Reid to Fund Obamacare’

By Terence P. Jeffrey | September 26, 2013 | 1:03 PM EDT

Sen. Ted Cruz (R.-Texas)

( - Sen. Ted Cruz (R.-Texas) said today on a conference call that he believes a significant number of Senate Republicans are currently intending to vote for “cloture” on the House-passed continue resolution in the Senate tomorrow and thus “allow Harry Reid to fund Obamacare."

Cruz argues that voting for cloture on the House CR in the Senate—even though it includes language defunding the implementation of Obamacare—is effectively allowing Reid to pass a CR in the Senate that funds Obamacare because it is a foregone conclusion that Senate Democrats, who control the chamber, can win a simple majority vote, after cloture, to pass an amendment stripping the Obamacare defunding language from the House bill.

Under Senate rules a cloture vote—which requires a 60-vote supermajority--is needed to end debate on a bill and bring it to a final vote, if any member opposes bringing the bill to a final vote. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R.-Ky) has said he favors cloture on the CR in the Senate, even though he opposes funding Obamacare.

There are currently 54 Democrats and 46 Republicans in the Senate. So, if 41 of the 46 Senate Republicans were to vote against cloture it would prevent the CR from moving forward in the Senate and giving Reid the opportunity to amend it with the support of just 51 Democrats.

Cruz hopes that if all Senate Republicans unite against cloture, it will put the Republicans and grassroots opponents of Obamacare in a position to start pressuring Democratic senators from more conservative states to join the effort to defund it.

“In my opinion, the cloture vote tomorrow is the most important vote that I will have cast in the short nine months I have been in the Senate, and I think it is the most important vote any of my colleagues will cast this year,” Cruz said on today’s conference call.

“Based on their public statements, a significant number of Senate Republicans currently intend to vote with Senate Republican leadership to support Harry Reid and the Democrats and to allow Harry Reid to fund Obamacare,” Cruz said.

“I hope by tomorrow that is no longer the case,” said Cruz. “I don’t know whether it will be or not.

“Whether Senate Republicans vote against giving Harry Reid the power to fund Obamacare will depend on whether Senate Republicans listen to their constituents, Cruz said. “Every Senate Republican ran on fighting Obamacare. And I guarantee you the constituents of every Senate Republican and, for that matter, every Senate Democrat, their constituents understand that Obamacare is a train wreck, it’s a nightmare, it’s not working, and it’s hurting millions of Americans.

“And any senator who listens to his constituents will vote no on cloture tomorrow,” said Cruz.

“I don’t know how the Senators will vote tomorrow, but I hope they listen to their constituents,” he said. “And any senator who expresses annoyance or frustration at hearing from his or her constituents, and receiving phone calls, or emails, or Tweets, from his or her constituents, it seems to me, may have lost sight of the people for whom we are working.

“The most fundamental divide in this country right now is the divide between entrenched politicians in Washington and the American people,” said Cruz.