Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) took to the Senate floor at 2:41pm on Tuesday afternoon and made good on his threat to filibuster, vowing to speak against funding Obamacare "until I am no longer able to stand.'' Yes, technically this is not a filibuster, but pay attention to Cruz's words as he is, and will be, speaking for the majority of Americans.
"I rise today to speak for 26 million Texans and 300 million Americans," Mr. Cruz began.
Like his Kentucky colleague Senator Rand Paul previously engaged in with regards to filibustering the confirmation of John Brennan and making Americans aware of drones and their use in the United States, Cruz came to the Senate armed with a big black binder full of papers that he intends to use in his talks.
According to Senate rules, Cruz may speak up until noon tomorrow. He will then have to stop and the Senate would proceed to vote on ending debate or bring the spending bill to the floor for a vote.
Currently the bill funds current government spending, except for the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare.
While Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said that Cruz was not engaged in a filibuster since he is not altering the Senate's vote on Wednesday, Cruz is determined to make this a stand to remember.
"I want to disabuse everyone. There will be no filibuster today," Mr. Reid said.
While the Senate vote is more than likely going to be against the bill as is, the real issue is for the people to flood their senator's offices with faxes, phone calls and emails before the vote on Wednesday. We must also hold our representatives accountable in the House of Representatives as they have indicated they are willing to compromise and are, in fact, working behind the scenes to undermine Republicans like Cruz and Paul in defunding Obamacare.
GOP chairman Reince Priebus launched an online petition in support of Cruz's efforts, which go right along with his Senate talk today. Here's the specific verbiage from the petition:
SUBJECT: I stand with Ted
In a fight between Harry Reid and Ted Cruz, I will stand with Ted Cruz any day.
Today, Senator Cruz has taken the fight to defund ObamaCare to the Senate floor. I hope you will join me in standing with him in solidarity.
As Republicans, we must remain true to our principles and fight to protect the American people from this reckless law.
55% of Americans disapprove of the manner in which ObamaCare is being implemented, yet Harry Reid and Senate Democrats continue to defend it, even at the expense of keeping the government running.
Harry Reid may think ObamaCare "has been wonderful for America." But the facts are on our side – ObamaCare is costing Americans higher taxes, fewer jobs, and less access to care.
- Reince Priebus
You can view Senator Cruz's talk about defunding Obamacare here. We will add Cruz's speech once he completed it.
I Stand with Ted! How about you?
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— Tim Brown (@FPPTim) September 24, 2013