Cruz vowed to speak until he’s “no longer able to stand,” and filled the time in a largely empty chamber, criticizing the law, talking about the Revolutionary War, the Washington ruling class and even linking his Cuban-born father who worked as a cook to a recitation of Dr. Seuss’ “Green Eggs and Ham.”
“I rise today in opposition to Obamacare,” Cruz said at 2:41 p.m., and he cast the 3-year-old law as a job killer and a “liberal train wreck.” Five hours later he was showing no signs of letting up.
Egged on by conservative groups, the potential 2016 presidential candidate excoriated Republicans and Democrats in his criticism of Obama’s signature domestic achievement and Congress’ unwillingness to gut the law. Cruz supports the House-passed bill that would avert a government shutdown and defund Obamacare, as do many Republicans.
However, they lack the votes to stop Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), from moving ahead on the measure, stripping the health care provision and sending the spending bill back to the House.
That didn’t stop Cruz’ quixotic filibuster. During his talkathon, a few senators joined Cruz on the Senate floor, including Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, both of whom have been mentioned as possible presidential candidates. Cruz yielded to them for questions but did not give up his time controlling the debate.
“It is my hope, my fervent hope, that the voices of dissension within the Republican conference will stop firing at each other and start firing” at the target of the health care law, Cruz said, a clear acknowledgment of the opposition he faced.