Cruz's Fake Filibuster Begins: 'I Will Speak Until I Can No Longer Stand'

UPDATE:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's spokesman said Tuesday that Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-Texas) filibuster was fake.

"Fun fact: Senator Cruz pre-negotiated the terms of his #fakefilibuster with Senator Reid yesterday. Not exactly a Mr. Smith moment," Adam Jentleson, the Communications Director for Reid (D-Nev.) tweeted more than two hours after Cruz took to the Senate floor.

On Monday, Cruz objected to allowing any executive branch nominees advance until he was guaranteed floor time.

Earlier Tuesday, Reid said there would not be any filibuster today.
"There is no filibuster today," Reid said. "We are going to vote tomorrow. Under the rules no one can stop that."

Cruz is attempting to delay — for as long as possible — consideration of a continuing resolution passed last week by the House, which funds the government through mid-December while also stripping funding for the Affordable Care Act.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is expected to advance H.J.Res. 59 with an amendment to remove the House language that defunds ObamaCare. A vote to end debate on the motion to proceed is expected Wednesday, and Cruz's actions cannot stop that from happening.

The government will shut down Oct. 1 if Congress doesn't approve some form of government funding measure.

Ted Cruz is live right now on C-SPAN, speaking every single right-wing talking point you ever heard, playing to the Teabaggers at home and reminding me more and more of Burt Lancaster in "Elmer Gantry" (another classic con man):

On Tuesday at 2:41 p.m., Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Tex., took the Senate floor to protest a government funding bill that funds President Obama’s signature health care reform law. He plans to talk — and talk — all afternoon and possibly all evening long.

“I intend to speak against Obamacare until I am no longer able to stand,” Cruz said Monday afternoon.

But make no mistake: What Cruz is doing is not a filibuster. And this is not his Mr. Smith goes to Washington moment.

Cruz cannot block legislation. He doesn’t have enough support — even from his fellow Republicans. Most of his party has abandoned his effort to wage a filibuster, largely because of worries about shutting down the government.

Senate rules dictate that the Senate must adjourn by noon on Wednesday. At that point, the Senate then will reconvene and start its cloture vote on the motion to proceed on the continuing resolution.

This is largely a made-for-cable-TV demonstration. The Texas Republican can’t talk more than 15 hours, according to the Senate’s rules. Cruz’s aides won’t say how long he’ll speak, but one Republican leadership source suggested he might go on only long enough to reach the prime time audience on Fox News Channel.

So what happens next? The Senate will go through a series of procedural votes, with a final vote expected on Sunday to keep the government running. Then, the bill goes back to the House, where the clock is ticking. The government runs out of money after Sept. 30.

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