On Monday, after asking for unanimous consent on a 60-vote threshold on the House bill that funds the government except for Obamacare, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said the ruling class should not fund Obamacare by “brute force.”
Cruz said Obamacare was forced into law over three years ago by a “strict party-line vote” and by “straight brute force,” but it “shouldn’t be funded that way,” even though that is what Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) wants to do.
“That’s not the way this institution should proceed,” Cruz said. “A 60-vote threshold does not require the Majority Leader to get a great many Republican votes, but it does require that he get a few. That he cannot simply do it with the votes of only the Democrats in this body.”
Cruz said the “burdens” and “job-killing consequences” of Obamacare will “fall just on hard-working families” and “not on Congress, big corporations and, in the near future, on union bosses.”
He said this approach was “exactly backwards,” and Congress should not give “special rules” and “special favors” for the “ruling class” and those “with power and privilege.”
“We should be fighting for those who are struggling, and those are the people who are getting hurt the most by Obamacare,” Cruz said. He noted that Obamcare is not working and the “we should not affirmatively fund it.”
Cruz said asking that amendments be subjected to a 60-vote threshold is not a special request. He quoted Reid’s past defense of minority rights in the Senate as a tool that serves the “long-term interests of the Senate” and the American people.
“I agree with Majority Leader Reid,” Cruz said.
Cruz also emphasized that Reid could have taken default “permanently off the table” had he also consented to giving consideration to the House bill as is.
Cruz said there is “bipartisan consensus outside of Washington” against Obamacare and said that Reid is willing to “risk, or force, even, a government shutdown in order to insist that Obamacare is funded” the same way.
“If it is the Majority Leader’s intent to fund Obamacare using just 51 votes, then I would submit to every Republican in this body, it is our obligation to our constituents to do everything we can to prevent the Majority Leader from funding Obamacare with just 51 votes,” Cruz said. “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 that vote would be a mistake and “hurts the people of America.”
He said that was not a “responsible course of action” and that Republicans should not acquiesce to it.