A few days ago, after House Republicans approved their “defund Obamacare” spending bill, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) came up with a plan. It wasn’t a good plan, but Cruz hoped to find allies to help block the House bill – which they support – until Democrats agreed in advance to let the GOP win.
Indeed, just last night during his excruciatingly long, inconsequential speech, Cruz made the case that a vote to advance the House bill is a vote for the Affordable Care Act.
How’d that work out?
The Senate voted Wednesday to take up the legislation to keep the government open past Sept. 30 following a marathon speech by Sen. Ted Cruz that did little to slow or affect that vote’s outcome.
Though the freshman senator from Texas spent more than 21 hours on his feet speaking throughout the night to urge colleagues against voting to take up House-passed spending legislation, the Senate did just the opposite. The chamber will next hold a series of votes to approve its own version of the bill and send it back to the House.
The vote, oddly enough, was 100 to 0. That’s not a typo – Cruz voted for cloture after saying he’d vote against cloture and urging his colleagues to do the same.
So now what happens?
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) will offer an amendment to scrap the House’s anti-healthcare provision, before filing cloture on the bill itself. Cruz might still try to obstruct, but he’d still be blocking the bill he likes, and he still doesn’t have any friends.
From there, the Democrats’ Obamacare provision will pass with a simple majority, as will the bill itself, probably late Sunday – the day before the shutdown deadline.
At that point, House Republicans would either pass the Senate bill or shut down the government.