I’m kind of puzzled over the “outrage” of House Republicans at Senator Ted Cruz. Apparently, some of them believe that he led the charge to defund Obamacare, only to leave them high and dry when it was announced they would bring a continuing resolution, that excludes Obamacare funding, up for a vote. I haven’t seen any indication that Cruz has given up the fight. Last night he appeared with Senator Mike Lee on the Sean Hannity show and commended Speaker Boehner for allowing this to come up for a vote and called for Republican unity. He urged every Republican Senator to stand with the House, as well as Democrats in red states who should do what their constituents want and help to “avoid this train wreck.”
In a conference call with bloggers today Cruz repeated his calls for Republican unity. He said he doesn’t know how Majority Leader Harry Reid will bring the continuing resolution up for a vote, but he will fight to make sure any measure stripping out the defunding of Obamacare will require a 60 vote threshold. He stressed that the Republicans are not talking about shutting down the government. If that happens it will be the decision of the Democrats in the Senate and White House.
Cruz was joined on the call by Reps. Matt Salmon (R-AZ) and Jim Bridenstine (R-OK) who were both on the same page as Cruz. They also stressed that their plan has nothing to do with a government shut down. The bill will fund every part of government except for Obamacare. Bridenstine pointed out that only one body of the federal government has passed anything that funds the government, and that is the Republican controlled House. If there is any government shut down it will be the decision of Senator Harry Reid and President Barack Obama. Cruz said that if they do reject the House bill because “they are so committed to denying Americans the same exemptions he’s given to big corporations and Congress,” then the House should begin to send smaller bills that fund all aspects of government one at a time. Then Obama and Reid will have to go on the record with the American people and let it be known exactly what funding they are rejecting.
Cruz also noted that in the past the government has shut down temporarily and it wasn’t the end of the world. Mandatory spending will go on. Social Security checks will go out. Medicare bills will be paid. The military will be funded, at least if Obama doesn’t stop those things from happening.
Another important point made by Cruz is that the “next 11 days are not going to be decided in the US Congress, it will be decided by the people of the United States. The key to winning this fight is the grassroots movement growing larger and asking leadership to stop Obamacare.” He went on to note the more than 1.3 million Americans who signed the petition and he urged others to do so. He urged concerned Americans to write to their Congressmen and make the case to their friends and families. “The fight will be fought by the American people in all 50 states. The American people need to rise up and hold officials accountable.”
Oh, one more thing. Rep. Salmon reminded us that in the 1990′s they sent two welfare reform bills to President Clinton, which Clinton vetoed. But then Clinton realized public opinion was not on his side, had a change of heart, and signed the third bill into law. Of course Clinton went on to take credit for welfare reform, which was fine, and Salmon would be happy to let Obama take credit for defunding Obamacare.
Update: This post has been updated to correct a few typos.