Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) spoke to Breitbart News after leaving the floor earlier in the evening as Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) continued his quasi-filibuster to prevent funding Obamacare. Cruz intends “to speak out in defense of defunding Obamacare until [he] can no longer stand.”
“This is a significant move. It’s a bold move by Senator Cruz. He’s doing this to draw attention to an important debate that needs to happen before the American people and with the American people,” Lee explained.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) reacted to Cruz’s move to take the floor by telling reporters, “There’s no filibuster going on now.” He added, “People can come and talk, but they can’t do anything to change when we vote.” The vote is scheduled for Wednesday.
Lee responded to Reid’s remarks, telling Breitbart News, “If they want to get really technical about it, they can call it whatever they want. They can call it a lengthy speech. They can call it a hot fudge sundae. I don’t care what they call it.”
Lee continued, “What they’re saying, in essence, is because in theory he can’t speak forever but is limited to the 21 hours or whatever it is until the next break in the schedule, I don’t care if that’s what they’re saying.”
According to the Utah senator, the response to the defund Obamacare effort has been “overwhelmingly supportive.”
“The effort is to communicate to the American people why its important to do everything we can to stand with the House Republican leadership who in turn are standing with the American people to defund Obamacare,” Lee said.
House GOP leadership may attach a one-year delay of Obamacare’s individual mandate to the Senate bill to avoid a government shutdown, Politico reported on Tuesday.
If House Republicans decide to go this route, it would all but provoke a government shutdown, since Senate Democrats might not even schedule a vote on a bill that includes that provision, Senate leadership staffers say. Even if the Senate schedules a vote, there might not be time to move the legislation through the slow-moving chamber.
Lee said that a delay could mean a number of things, but he still believes the best way to delay Obamacare is by defunding it.
“So when people talk about delay, I always say I want to see what you mean. I want to see details. Because you can’t truly delay Obamacare without defunding it, and if you’ve defunded it, you’ve delayed it,” he said.