Tags: lee | cruz | obamacare | bill

Mike Lee: Cruz's Talkathon Aimed at Keeping Reid From Gutting Bill

Tuesday, 24 Sep 2013 08:32 PM

By Greg Richter

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Sen. Ted Cruz's reasoning behind his lengthy speech on the Senate floor starting Tuesday is simple, according to Sen. Mike Lee: make it harder for Majority Leader Harry Reid to gut the House bill to defund Obamacare.

Appearing on Fox News Channel's "Your World with Neil Cavuto" on Tuesday, Lee, R-Utah, said he and Cruz, R-Texas, would be happy to allow an up-or-down vote on the House-passed bill. It would even be OK if every senator were allowed to offer amendments.

But Lee said he expects Reid to offer only one amendment, and that would be to strip the House's defunding of Obamacare from the continuing resolution. The continuing resolution passed last week by the House aims to keep the rest of the government running past an Oct. 1 deadline.

"Harry Reid can't have his cake and eat it, too," Lee said.

Cruz began talking on the Senate floor Tuesday afternoon and vowed to do so until he's "no longer able to stand."  A vote to take up debate on the bill is slated for around noon Wednesday, Lee said, so Cruz plans to take up as much of that time as possible. If he leaves the podium or sits down he will give up his right to continue speaking.

Many Republican leaders have said Cruz's effort is futile since the Democrat-dominated Senate will not pass the bill, and even if it did, President Barack Obama will not sign it. Republicans don't have enough votes to overturn a veto.

Rogers would not tell Cavuto whether Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has advised him against pursuing the defunding effort, calling any such conversations "private." But he added that it is no secret that Republicans differ on strategy to overturn the healthcare law.


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