Cruz Blasts Senate Deal: Establishment Refuses to Listen

Wednesday, 16 Oct 2013 08:15 PM

By Wanda Carruthers

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Republican Sen. Ted Cruz railed against a Senate deal to end the government shutdown and raise the debt limit, but he said a filibuster would be a pointless exercise.

"There's nothing to be gained from delaying this vote one day or two days," Cruz said Wednesday following Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's announcement on the Senate floor.

Story continues below video.


Cruz brought the Senate to a standstill last month when he spoke for more than 21 hours in an unsuccessful bid to defund Obamacare. But this time, he told Fox News, there will be no such effort.

Urgent: Do You Support Sen. Ted Cruz's Efforts to Defund Obamacare? Vote Here.

"Every senator, every member of the House, will have to make a decision where he or she stands," the Texas Republican said. "But there is no benefit — I've never had any intention of playing the timing of this vote."

Reid announced Wednesday a bipartisan agreement that reopens the government, allowing for a CR, or Continuing Resolution, through Jan. 15 and a debt-ceiling increase through Feb. 7. He and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell had worked through the night to hammer out the deal.

The agreement also calls for income verification for those who receive subsidies on the insurance exchanges under Obamacare. The current sequester would stay in place, according to Fox News.

Cruz slammed his fellow senators but praised the GOP-led House for taking a stand against raising the debt ceiling and Obamacare. "I want to commend the House of Representatives. They have taken a bold stance listening to the American people, but unfortunately the United States Senate has refused to do likewise."

"The United States Senate has stayed with the traditional approach of the Washington establishment of maintaining the status quo and doing nothing to respond [to] the sufferings Obamacare is causing millions of Americans.

"This is unfortunate, but nobody should be surprised," the freshman senator said.

The White House voiced immediate support for the Senate plan.

"We are not putting odds on anything. We are simply applauding the leaders of the Senate for reaching the agreement that they've reached. And we're calling on both houses of Congress to act swiftly," White House spokesman Jay Carney said following the announcement.

Cruz criticized the Senate plan, and said it proves "Washington will do nothing" when it comes to the "terrifying decisions" Americans are making as a result of Obamacare.

"It is about all the people across this country who are right now facing terrifying decisions, because they are losing their healthcare, losing their jobs, being left in the cold. And sadly, the United States Senate has said Washington will do nothing," he said.

"The Washington establishment is refusing to listen to the American people. The deal that has been cut provides no relief to millions of American who are hurting because of Obamacare," Cruz added.

McConnell said the budget debate has been "worth the effort," in remarks on the Senate floor after Reid's announcement. He added Obamacare is a "disastrous rollout" and pledged to "repeal this terrible law."

"Throughout this debate, the public is rightly focused on Obamacare. For good reason. This law is ravaging the economy, killing jobs, driving up premiums and driving people off the healthcare plans they have and like in droves," McConnell said.

"It is a disastrous rollout of a sign of even worse things to come. And the refusal to delay it reflects a kind of stubborn ideological exception. It will do unknown damage to our country. Republicans remain determined to repeal the terrible law," McConnell added.
Cruz also vowed that the fight over the Affordable Care Act is not over.

"This fight, this debate, will continue until collectively, the American people can make D.C. listen — can get real relief for all the people who were hurt because of Obamacare," Cruz said.

That sentiment was also echoed by New York Republican Rep. Peter King, who has led the GOP criticism of Cruz for his tactics.

"What we should do is do all we can to repeal it. And we do that by electing more Republicans and a Republican president. And also by taking targeted shots at Obamacare," King said after the Senate announcement.

Urgent: Do You Support Sen. Ted Cruz's Efforts to Defund Obamacare? Vote Here.

Rep. Sean Duffy, a Wisconsin Republican, disagreed with Cruz's strategy as well, and felt that if the effort to defund had not taken place, public sentiment may have led to a delay in Obamacare.

"If we had allowed Obamacare to roll out, and for two weeks America saw the dysfunction — and then, as we roll into the debt limit and negotiate an increase, I think we would have got a one-year delay, because America would have said this is only the fair and right thing to do," Duffy said.

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