Right now as I post this, Senator Pat Roberts is giving Sen. Ted Cruz a break, allowing him to rest during a 17-hour stretch of holding the floor of the US Senate. Roberts is scolding Harry Reid for blocking amendments in defiance of Senate traditions, and hailing Cruz for making every analogy possible to explain how ObamaCare is a train wreck in motion:
No matter what one thinks of the strategy, Cruz’ performance has been impressive in every sense of the word. The “long speech” — it’s not really a filibuster, since debate has already been limited and a vote scheduled for today — has objectively raised the profile of the opposition to ObamaCare, and whether that would have worked better for a delay than defunding is really moot at this point.
Besides, John Boehner has the delay option ready to go in round two, according to Politico:
The House Republican leadership is seriously considering attaching a one-year delay of Obamacare’s individual mandate to the Senate bill to avert a government shutdown, according to senior GOP aides.
If House Republicans decide to go this route, it would all but provoke a government shutdown, since Senate Democrats might not even schedule a vote on a bill that includes that provision, Senate leadership staffers say. Even if the Senate schedules a vote, there might not be time to move the legislation through the slow-moving chamber.
The House Republican leadership is planning its next move as it becomes abundantly clear that Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s gambit to defund Obamacare will fall short. The federal government is set to shut down Tuesday unless a new funding bill is enacted, and the Senate might not even send a bill to the House until Sunday — leaving a hot potato on Speaker John Boehner’s lap shortly before a government shutdown. The Senate bill will fund the government through Nov. 15.
A shutdown for a couple of days isn’t going to create a headache, but it might get the Senate to act with a little more alacrity to Boehner’s next submission. Republicans need to push the inequitable delays imposed by the White House against the consumers’ interest to demand an explanation why the whole train wreck shouldn’t be delayed to their benefit.
Ted Cruz just returned and made a “wacko birds” reference. Nice.