After provoking the ire of his party last week, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas sought to mend fences by promising to block any attempt by the Senate’s Democrat majority to turn back a House proposal that defunds Obamacare.
“Senate Republicans have the tool that we always used when the majority leader is abusing his power, which is we can defy cloture. We can filibuster and say we will not allow you to add the funding back for Obamacare with just 51 votes,” he said on Fox News Sunday.
“It’s now our turn to unify, to stand together with House Republicans,” he added.
Cruz and Utah Sen. Mike Lee have spent the last three months leading the defunding Obamacare movement that has buried House and Senate Republicans in ads demanding their support for a bill that would effectively shut down the government. But late last week the duo seemed to backtrack—infuriating Republicans—just as the GOP-led House got ready to pass a stopgap spending bill that also stripped all funding from the health care law.
“Right now, he’s just desperate to not look like the biggest fool in Washington. He’s scrambling,” Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough said. “Americans don’t like Obamacare. We’re on the right side of this as Republicans, but we need to stay out of the way. We shouldn’t shut down the government over it.”
Fox host Chris Wallace said he was surprised when he booked Cruz on Sunday, because it was Republicans who appealed to him to take Cruz to task in the interview.
“This has been one of the strangest weeks I’ve ever had in Washington.“ Wallace said on his show. “As soon as we listed Ted Cruz as our featured guest this week, I got unsolicited research and questions, not from Democrats, but from top Republicans—to hammer Cruz.”
Watch the full discussion on Morning Joe.