Byron York is reporting that a plan by Sens. Ted Cruz and Mike Lee to hold up the continuing resolution until an up or down vote on defunding Obamacare is held is gaining some steam.
This week it appeared Republican Sens. Ted Cruz and Mike Lee would wage a lonely war over their threat to hold up a continuing resolution to fund the U.S. government if they are not given a vote on a budget amendment to defund Obamacare. Now, it's not quite so lonely. Sens. Marco Rubio and James Inhofe have joined Cruz and Lee, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Friday that he "looks forward to supporting" the amendment.
It's a significant step forward for Cruz and Lee. But the Senate Republican caucus remains deeply divided about defunding Obamacare. Sources say that at a Republican caucus lunch a few days ago, several GOP senators expressed opposition to Cruz and Lee's proposal. And of course, the 55-member Democratic majority will not give it the time of day. But Cruz and Lee are determined to keep up opposition to Obamacare, even though it has flagged in some other quarters of the Republican Party.
Saying "I don't think anyone is in favor of shutting down the government," Rubio said he nonetheless has vowed not to vote for another continuing resolution to put off dealing with budget problems. The only way he would vote for one, he told Hewitt, would be if the continuing resolution contained a measure defunding Obamacare. In that case, Rubio said, "I will vote for a continuing resolution, even if it's temporary, because it does something permanent, and that is defund this health care bill, this Obamacare bill that is going to be an absolute disaster for the American economy."
It won't pass, of course. Not with 55 Democrats in the Senate. But Republicans would do well to go on record trying to stop this train wreck before it picks up any more steam.