Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
September 5, 2015

Senate GOP Prepares to Shoot Down Cruz’s Obamacare Strategy

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and many of his rank and file are poised to cast votes this week that will effectively rebuke Sen. Ted Cruz’s effort to filibuster a stopgap spending bill that would keep the government funded past Sept. 30.

Cruz has been calling on fellow Republicans to block the House-passed stopgap spending bill that defunds the president’s 2010 health care law because he sees the vote as a way to prevent Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., from stripping out the Obamacare funding blockade.

But a GOP-led filibuster puts many Republicans in the tough spot of opposing a bill they actually support while also likely causing a government shutdown. Any vote to filibuster is likely to come before Reid moves to strike the Obamacare defunding language.

“Sen. McConnell supports the House Republicans’ bill and will not vote to block it, since it defunds Obamacare and funds the government without increasing spending by a penny. He will also vote against any amendment that attempts to add Obamacare funding back into the House Republicans’ bill,” said Don Stewart, spokesman for the Kentucky Republican. “If and when the Majority Leader goes down that path, Washington Democrats will have to decide — without hiding behind a procedural vote — whether or not to split with their leadership and join Republicans and their constituents in opposing the re-insertion of Obamacare funding into the House-passed bill.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican who is up for re-election and faces a tea party challenge, didn’t mince words about the problem with the tactics being employed by his fellow GOP senators.

“I think we’ll take up the House bill because it’s a good bill. I can’t imagine filibustering the bill that I like from the House. There will be a vote to take out the defunding of Obamacare. It will be a majority vote,” Graham said Monday on Fox News. “And I’m hoping some Democrats will side with all Republicans to keep the defunding in place, but I doubt it.”

But Cruz has been pressing his case hard, taking to the Senate floor Monday.

“It is our obligation to our constituents to do everything we can to prevent the majority leader from funding Obamacare with just 51 votes. Any member of this body that votes for cloture on this bill will be voting to allow the majority leader to fund Obamacare on 51 votes,” Cruz said. “I think that vote’s a mistake.”

In this case, Senate rules will allow Reid to move to strike the language defunding Obamacare with just a simple majority after limiting debate on the House-passed legislation. Cruz sought to prevent Reid from doing that on Monday by offering two unanimous consent requests — one to pass the House bill unchanged and another to set up an artificial 60-vote threshold for any amendment votes.

Reid shot that down quickly, even though Cruz’s objective was plain: to bait the majority leader into objecting so he could accuse Democrats of causing any subsequent government shutdown.

But beyond worrying about the wisdom of causing a government shutdown over Obamacare, some Senate Republicans are also grumbling that the Texas Republican and his allies have picked the wrong fight and should be pushing to lower the $986 billion spending cap included in the House bill.

Some Senate Republicans do not support the underlying House bill but may vote with Democrats against a filibuster — a situation that has made the expected test vote harder to predict.

For example, Sen. Tom Coburn, who has argued that Republicans should insist on a post-sequester spending level of $967 billion for the next fiscal year, said Sunday that Cruz and his colleagues are distracting from what should be “the real focus.”

“So the real issue is we’re not talking about something that Republicans can win on, which is, for the first time since the end of the Korean War we will have actually decreased discretionary spending in this country two years in a row, which is a real achievement, and we haven’t even touched the surface of the waste and fraud that is out there,” the Oklahoma Republican said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

Coburn has an assortment of like-minded lawmakers on the funding question. Six senators joined with Coburn and Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., on a letter calling on Reid to put a CR at the $967 billion level.

What has frustrated some dedicated fiscal conservatives is that a few tea-party-affiliated groups have conceded in private correspondence with other conservatives that they’re less concerned with spending levels than about cutting funding for Obamacare. Tea Party Patriots is one such group, demonstrating a commitment to the defunding effort at the expense of having the broader spending debate.

There are groups siding with Coburn and company, however. The National Taxpayers Union, for instance, sent a letter to senators last week highlighting what they view as the importance of the $967 billion spending level.

“Attempts by Congress to peg spending above this level would result in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issuing a sequester order within 15 days of the end of the current session. While it is true that taxpayers might yet achieve the savings they so urgently need, temporarily postponing the cuts and relying on the sequestration mechanism would give government agencies less time to adjust to the spending limits imposed by the law,” NTU Vice President Brandon Arnold wrote.

One Republican aide not aligned with Cruz or Coburn said that senators in both camps will have the opportunity to define their votes on that big test vote that’s expected to come Friday. Of course, Republican aides expect Reid to use a procedural maneuver called “filling the amendment tree” to prevent Coburn or anyone else from offering amendments to reduce the funding level.

Comments (80)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

author email

  1. Layla

    Sept. 24, 2013
    1:14 p.m.

    I’m sorry for those of you so insulated by privilege which you have granted yourselves in Washington. Americans, NOT conservatives, AMERICANS

    • pragmatist3

      Sept. 24, 2013
      2:05 p.m.

      No one is exempt from the Affordable Care Act. If you have health insurance, you are in compliance. If you don’t you can go to an exchange and choose which of many insurance policies fits your needs best OR you can choose to go without health insurance. if you do the latter then you pay a bit more on your income tax to cover the risk that uninsured freeloaders will show up at the emergency room of public hospitals.

      • Layla

        Sept. 24, 2013
        2:32 p.m.

        Congress has been exempted from the same terms which they imposed on the American people.

  2. pragmatist3

    Sept. 24, 2013
    2:06 p.m.

    They will be removed. And replaced by Democrats.

    • Layla

      Sept. 24, 2013
      2:33 p.m.

      Hate to disappoint you, but that is not happening. Fed up Americans are fleeing to the Independent party. We can’t see the difference in the two parties anymore.

      • pdq3

        Sept. 24, 2013
        5:59 p.m.

        “Fed up Americans are fleeing to the Independent party.”

        …from the GOP.

        Can you say “split vote”?

        Go Tea Party!

  3. Anonymous

    July 4, 2015
    4:18 a.m.

    I am not very fantastic with English but I get hold this really easygoing to understand.

  4. Anonymous

    July 4, 2015
    2:21 p.m.

    Hello.This article was extremely fascinating, especially since I was looking for thoughts on this subject last Wednesday.

  5. Anonymous

    July 7, 2015
    11:07 p.m.

    Your place is valueble for me. Thanks!…

  6. Anonymous

    July 12, 2015
    4 p.m.

    Valuable information. Lucky me I found your web site by accident, and I am shocked why this accident didn’t happened earlier! I bookmarked it.

  7. Anonymous

    July 19, 2015
    9:50 a.m.

    I¦ve been exploring for a little for any high quality articles or weblog posts on this kind of space . Exploring in Yahoo I ultimately stumbled upon this web site. Studying this info So i am happy to convey that I’ve a very good uncanny feeling I found out exactly what I needed. I such a lot undoubtedly will make sure to don¦t omit this web site and provides it a glance on a continuing basis.

  8. Anonymous

    July 21, 2015
    1:53 a.m.

    An impressive share, I just given this onto a colleague who was doing a little analysis on this. And he in fact bought me breakfast because I found it for him.. smile. So let me reword that: Thnx for the treat! But yeah Thnkx for spending the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love reading more on this topic. If possible, as you become expertise, would you mind updating your blog with more details? It is highly helpful for me. Big thumb up for this blog post!

  9. Anonymous

    July 24, 2015
    6:27 p.m.

    I like what you guys are up also. Such intelligent work and reporting! Keep up the superb works guys I have incorporated you guys to my blogroll. I think it will improve the value of my website :)

  10. Anonymous

    July 25, 2015
    7:58 a.m.

    An interesting discussion is worth comment. I think that you should write more on this topic, it might not be a taboo subject but generally people are not enough to speak on such topics. To the next. Cheers

  11. Anonymous

    July 25, 2015
    6:27 p.m.

    very good post, i definitely love this website, carry on it

  12. Anonymous

    July 28, 2015
    7:35 a.m.

    I want to express some appreciation to this writer just for rescuing me from this type of crisis. Just after looking out throughout the search engines and coming across methods which were not productive, I believed my entire life was well over. Living devoid of the strategies to the difficulties you’ve resolved all through this article content is a critical case, as well as those which could have in a wrong way affected my career if I hadn’t discovered the website. Your main natural talent and kindness in playing with all the things was excellent. I am not sure what I would have done if I had not discovered such a thing like this. I am able to now relish my future. Thanks for your time so much for this reliable and amazing help. I will not be reluctant to endorse the sites to anyone who needs and wants direction on this subject matter.

  13. Anonymous

    July 30, 2015
    2:49 p.m.

    Thank you for some other fantastic article. Where else may just anyone get that kind of information in such an ideal method of writing? I have a presentation next week, and I am on the look for such info.

  14. Anonymous

    July 31, 2015
    9:29 a.m.

    I’ve been surfing on-line more than three hours these days, but I by no means discovered any attention-grabbing article like yours. It is beautiful value sufficient for me. In my opinion, if all webmasters and bloggers made just right content material as you probably did, the internet can be much more helpful than ever before.

  15. Anonymous

    Aug. 2, 2015
    10:52 a.m.

    wonderful post.Ne’er knew this, regards for letting me know.

  16. Google

    Aug. 5, 2015
    4:16 a.m.

    Please stop by the internet sites we adhere to, which includes this one, as it represents our picks from the web.

  17. Anonymous

    Aug. 6, 2015
    4:53 a.m.

    I really appreciate this post. I have been looking all over for this! Thank goodness I found it on Bing. You’ve made my day! Thank you again

  18. Anonymous

    Aug. 7, 2015
    1:51 a.m.

    Having read this I thought it was very informative. I appreciate you taking the time and effort to put this article together. I once again find myself spending way to much time both reading and commenting. But so what, it was still worth it!

  19. Anonymous

    Aug. 7, 2015
    9:29 a.m.

    Great wordpress blog here.. It’s hard to find quality writing like yours these days. I really appreciate people like you! take care

  20. Anonymous

    Aug. 9, 2015
    6:49 p.m.

    Great write-up, I am normal visitor of one’s site, maintain up the nice operate, and It is going to be a regular visitor for a long time.

  21. classic coffee

    Aug. 11, 2015
    11:34 p.m.

    Here are several of the sites we recommend for our visitors

  22. albergo vicenza

    Aug. 12, 2015
    12:30 p.m.

    one of our guests just lately advised the following website

  23. anzac day tours

    Aug. 12, 2015
    3:35 p.m.

    here are some links to web-sites that we link to due to the fact we consider they may be really worth visiting

  24. london furniture

    Aug. 13, 2015
    6:23 p.m.

    Here is an excellent Blog You might Find Intriguing that we Encourage You

  25. site

    Aug. 13, 2015
    6:34 p.m.

    one of our guests not long ago suggested the following website

  26. best way to stream nfl games

    Aug. 14, 2015
    9:23 a.m.

    Here is a superb Weblog You might Uncover Fascinating that we Encourage You

  27. 411 PAIN pills

    Aug. 14, 2015
    11:11 a.m.

    The info talked about within the post are several of the best out there

  28. Dolphinaris

    Aug. 15, 2015
    5:57 p.m.

    we like to honor numerous other online web sites around the net, even though they arent linked to us, by linking to them. Underneath are some webpages worth checking out

  29. international calling plans

    Aug. 15, 2015
    8:51 p.m.

    always a large fan of linking to bloggers that I really like but really don’t get a lot of link enjoy from

  30. Buy My Book

    Aug. 16, 2015
    8:08 a.m.

    The facts talked about inside the report are a number of the ideal obtainable

  31. bouncy castles

    Aug. 16, 2015
    8:52 a.m.

    Here is a superb Weblog You might Come across Intriguing that we Encourage You

  32. coupon code

    Aug. 16, 2015
    7:20 p.m.

    always a massive fan of linking to bloggers that I like but do not get lots of link like from

  33. free slot games no downloading

    Aug. 17, 2015
    11:41 a.m.

    we like to honor quite a few other world wide web web sites on the web, even though they arent linked to us, by linking to them. Under are some webpages really worth checking out

  34. click this

    Aug. 18, 2015
    1:29 a.m.

    Here is a superb Weblog You might Discover Interesting that we Encourage You

  35. globalseoagency

    Aug. 18, 2015
    6:50 p.m.

    below you will find the link to some web pages that we feel you should visit

  36. ASTM D 96 tubes

    Aug. 19, 2015
    5:43 p.m.

    Sites of interest we have a link to

  37. motorcycle dealers

    Aug. 19, 2015
    9:43 p.m.

    please check out the web sites we follow, like this a single, because it represents our picks from the web

  38. peruvian curly hair weave

    Aug. 20, 2015
    7:08 a.m.

    Every once in a even though we pick blogs that we read. Listed beneath would be the most up-to-date web-sites that we pick

  39. veiling

    Aug. 20, 2015
    6:23 p.m.

    one of our visitors a short while ago encouraged the following website

  40. wedding photographer

    Aug. 21, 2015
    5:19 a.m.

    Sites of interest we’ve a link to

  41. but plug

    Aug. 21, 2015
    6:02 p.m.

    the time to read or check out the content or web pages we’ve linked to beneath the

  42. IT returns

    Aug. 22, 2015
    12:13 p.m.

    always a large fan of linking to bloggers that I adore but do not get lots of link love from

  43. instantrewardsnetwork

    Aug. 22, 2015
    2:25 p.m.

    always a large fan of linking to bloggers that I love but do not get a whole lot of link adore from

  44. Internationals calls

    Aug. 22, 2015
    3:36 p.m.

    the time to read or stop by the content or sites we’ve linked to beneath the

  45. related web-site

    Aug. 23, 2015
    9:41 p.m.

    Sites of interest we have a link to

  46. 3 door display chiller

    Aug. 24, 2015
    5:15 a.m.

    we prefer to honor lots of other internet sites around the internet, even though they arent linked to us, by linking to them. Beneath are some webpages really worth checking out

  47. Anonymous

    Aug. 24, 2015
    7:45 a.m.

    Heya i’m for the first time here. I found this board and I find It truly useful & it helped me out much. I hope to give something back and aid others like you aided me.

  48. Anonymous

    Aug. 25, 2015
    9:48 a.m.

    I am often to blogging and i really appreciate your content. The article has really peaks my interest. I am going to bookmark your site and keep checking for new information.

  49. Anonymous

    Aug. 25, 2015
    10:31 p.m.

    Hey! I just want to give an enormous thumbs up for the good info you have got right here on this post. I will be coming back to your blog for more soon.

  50. SEO company in Bristol

    Aug. 27, 2015
    12:41 a.m.

    just beneath, are several totally not associated web pages to ours, nonetheless, they may be certainly really worth going over

  51. Great

    Aug. 27, 2015
    4:51 a.m.

    we came across a cool web page that you simply may appreciate. Take a look when you want

  52. buy backlinks

    Aug. 27, 2015
    7:10 p.m.

    just beneath, are numerous entirely not related internet sites to ours, on the other hand, they may be surely worth going over

  53. phone number germany

    Aug. 27, 2015
    8:23 p.m.

    always a major fan of linking to bloggers that I like but do not get a whole lot of link enjoy from

  54. Cheap Viagra Online

    Aug. 28, 2015
    12:56 a.m.

    we came across a cool web site that you just could possibly get pleasure from. Take a search should you want

  55. Vitals

    Aug. 28, 2015
    1:06 a.m.

    please stop by the websites we follow, such as this 1, as it represents our picks from the web

  56. Buy Cheap Viagra Online

    Aug. 28, 2015
    6:01 a.m.

    Here are a few of the web-sites we advocate for our visitors

  57. Buy Ray Bans

    Aug. 28, 2015
    11:49 a.m.

    The info mentioned in the article are several of the best available

  58. Buy Cheap Viagra Online

    Aug. 28, 2015
    9:14 p.m.

    below you will locate the link to some sites that we consider you ought to visit

  59. novel

    Aug. 28, 2015
    10:30 p.m.

    here are some hyperlinks to web sites that we link to for the reason that we believe they may be worth visiting

  60. Best Buy iPhone Samsung Charger Cables

    Aug. 29, 2015
    6:38 a.m.

    check below, are some totally unrelated sites to ours, having said that, they are most trustworthy sources that we use

  61. magic wand

    Aug. 29, 2015
    8:49 a.m.

    we came across a cool web page that you just may get pleasure from. Take a appear for those who want

  62. buy backlinks

    Aug. 29, 2015
    3:55 p.m.

    we like to honor a lot of other world-wide-web sites around the net, even if they arent linked to us, by linking to them. Beneath are some webpages really worth checking out

  63. Anonymous

    Aug. 29, 2015
    7:23 p.m.

    Deference to author, some good selective information.

  64. rabbit vibrator video

    Aug. 29, 2015
    11:48 p.m.

    very few internet sites that happen to be in depth beneath, from our point of view are undoubtedly properly really worth checking out

  65. Svcju

    Aug. 30, 2015
    12:15 p.m.

    794695 474065cleaning supplies ought to have earth friendly organic ingredients so that they do not harm the environment 583927

  66. real estate agents

    Aug. 30, 2015
    3:57 p.m.

    please visit the web pages we follow, including this 1, as it represents our picks from the web

  67. dent repair school

    Aug. 31, 2015
    6:24 p.m.

    always a major fan of linking to bloggers that I really like but do not get a lot of link really like from

  68. sports cards case breaks

    Aug. 31, 2015
    7:59 p.m.

    Here are several of the web sites we advocate for our visitors

  69. paintless dent repair training

    Sept. 1, 2015
    1:45 a.m.

    please visit the sites we comply with, like this a single, as it represents our picks from the web

  70. Anonymous

    Sept. 2, 2015
    4:59 a.m.

    I like this weblog so much, bookmarked.

  71. Anonymous

    Sept. 2, 2015
    6:29 a.m.

    XNNfG6 There is definately a great deal to know about this subject. I love all the points you ave made.

  72. Anonymous

    Sept. 2, 2015
    9:23 p.m.

    Some genuinely excellent information, Sword lily I found this. “No men can be lords of our faith, though they may be helpers of our joy.” by John Owen.

  73. womens fragrance

    Sept. 3, 2015
    8:46 a.m.

    Every when in a even though we choose blogs that we study. Listed beneath would be the most recent web-sites that we opt for

  74. Acne Prone Skin - Clear Proof Acne System

    Sept. 3, 2015
    9:51 a.m.

    The information talked about within the report are several of the top offered

  75. Anonymous

    Sept. 3, 2015
    3:21 p.m.

    qt7aDb Very good article! We are linking to this great content on our website. Keep up the great writing.

  76. why not try these out

    Sept. 4, 2015
    6:37 a.m.

    please pay a visit to the sites we stick to, like this one, because it represents our picks from the web

Sign In

Forgot password?



Receive daily coverage of the people, politics and personality of Capitol Hill.

Subscription | Free Trial

Logging you in. One moment, please...