Obamacare, Filibuster, and Cloture: @SenTedCruz Explains Things to His Colleague
Today on the Senate floor, Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) 50% and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) 94% engaged in a colloquy. Their discussion was both entertaining and enlightening.
Sen. Corker insinuated that Sen. Cruz’s 21-hour 19-minute speech on the Senate floor from Tuesday to Wednesday was basically meaningless and criticized Sen. Cruz for “vot[ing] for the issue [Sen. Cruz] was filibustering.”
Sen. Corker was of course referring to the vote that took place Wednesday immediately after Sen. Cruz’s long speech to take up consideration of the bill in the Senate, which was agreed to 100-0. That vote, which was largely inconsequential, is vastly different and less important than the vote on cloture that will happen next.
It seems that Sen. Corker is either himself confused, or he is using the somewhat confusing nature of Senate procedures and rules to trick America into believing Sen. Cruz didn’t know what he was doing.
Sen. Cruz makes very clear why 1. the Wednesday vote is different from the next vote on cloture, and 2. why voting for cloture puts the power in Harry Reid’s hands.
Sen. Cruz also asked a very important question about the cloture vote:
The Senator from Tennessee says that a vote in favor of cloture is a vote in favor of the House bill and in favor of defunding Obamacare. If that’s the case, then the question I would pose to my friend from Tennessee is, ‘Why is Majority Leader Harry Reid going to vote the same way you’re proposing to vote. Why is every Democrat in this chamber going to vote the same way you’re proposing to vote.’ If this is a vote in favor of defunding Obamacare, is it the Senator from Tennessee’s suggestion that the Majority Leader and the Senate Democrats are confused about this vote?
The next vote will be a vote that will do two things if there are 60 votes, i.e. if there are enough Republicans that vote join Sen. Harry Reid.
First, it will cut off all debate. Second, it will allow an amendment already filed by Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) 13% that guts the House defunding of Obamacare to pass with a simple majority of 51 votes.
And that is the important takeaway.
Republicans in the Senate can either vote with Harry Reid on cloture so he controls the situation, or they can vote with Sen. Cruz and the American people to continue the fight to defund Obamacare.