On Tuesday evening, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) appeared on the Senate floor to support the filibuster-style stand by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) for defunding Obamacare. Paul had originally revived the “talking filibuster” in March during a famous stand against the Obama administration’s policy on the use of drones, and was returning the favor after Cruz supported him in that lengthy stand. Yet he also posed a curious question.
Paul asked Cruz–twice, by my count–whether he would accept some kind of compromise short of defunding Obamacare, if that could not be done. It did not come across as the typical sort of question asked by a supporter during a floor debate, meant to help a colleague draw out their arguments. Nor was it the sort of collegial challenge posed by Democrat Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) of Virginia, who sparred with Cruz late Tuesday night.
It was a real challenge, one Cruz seemed to understand as such. It may have been based on a real proposal–floated here at Breitbart News and evidently taken up by the House GOP–to resolve the stand-off over the budget by allowing a one-year delay in Obamacare’s individual mandate rather than defunding it entirely. But it may also have been a bit of jostling at the front of the pack in the race for conservative leadership.