On Monday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) had a 45 minute showdown that lasted until procedural motions allowed for Reid to call for unanimous consent to proceed with pending judge nominations on Tuesday.
Reid had originally moved to proceed with the House Continuing Resolution, saying that no roll call votes would happen today because the Senate was “in a procedural situation here dealing with the C.R.” Instead, the first vote of the week, Reid decided, would happen on Tuesday. This vote over the confirmation of federal circuit court judge. Senators would only be allowed to speak for up to ten minutes each during that vote, Reid remarked. After asking for unanimous consent to proceed, Cruz objected.
“Well, I object. You asked for consent, and I object,” said Cruz.
Cruz explained over the weekend to Fox News Sunday he was ready to mount a filibuster to defund Obamacare through the Continuing Resolution:
Cruz explained to “Fox News Sunday” his procedural strategy, after suggesting Friday that Senate Republicans use a filibuster to block Senate Democrats’ attempt to use their majority to swiftly vote down the House-approved plan–which is to fund the entire federal government, except Obamacare, before the Oct. 1 deadline.
“If Senate Republicans stand together, we can stop [Majority Leader] Harry Reid,” said Cruz, the Tea Party-backed senator.
Cruz suggested Senate Republicans take their stand by attempting to block Reid’s effort to exclude GOP input through cloture, which can block debates and amendments with only 50 “yes” votes.
At that point, Reid began his remarks and attacked the Tea Party activists as “extremists” and “anarchists” for their efforts to see President Obama’s signature health care law defunded.
An anarchy movement is afoot. A lead editorial in the New York Times on Wednesday of last week said that. But we’re not going to bow to tea party anarchists who deny the mere fact that Obamacare is the law. We will not bow to tea party anarchists who refuse to accept that the Supreme Court ruled that Obamacare is Constitutional. They ignore the fact that Obama was overwhelmingly re-elected a few months ago.
He continued, “These fanatics really point to the disapproval for Obamacare as justification for taking the federal government and our economy hostage to their demands.”
Reid then went after congressional Republicans, saying, “The latest gamble by Republicans in the House of Representatives made with the backing of their radical allies in the Senate only postpones the inevitable. This week the United States Senate will act as quickly as tea party Republicans will allow.”
Senator Cruz left the floor after Reid proceeded to executive session.