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There Will Be No Senate Filibuster Over Obamacare And The Budget

After being criticized by House Republicans for seemingly giving up and admitting the Senate won’t pass a Continuing Resolution that defunds Obamacare, Senator Ted Cruz said yesterday that he’d do “anything” to advance his position, perhaps even including a talking filibuster. As it turns out, though, there will be nothing that Cruz can do to prevent the Senate from stripping away the House’s defunding language from any Continuing Resolution:

[W]hen the House passes a continuing resolution that defunds Obamacare and sends it to the Senate, several things will happen. There will be cloture votes on a motion to proceed and a motion to actually take up the defunding resolution. The bill will almost certainly go forward; Republicans, whatever their position on the defunding question, certainly won’t stop the House bill before it can be considered.

When, when the defunding continuing resolution is being considered, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will propose a motion to strike the defunding provision from the continuing resolution. Senate rules allow that to be decided on a simple majority vote. Democrats will vote to strike the defunding portion and set up a final up-or-down vote on the continuing resolution, which at that point will be just a measure to fund the government, including Obamacare. There will be a simple majority vote. The measure will pass.

But couldn’t Cruz and his allies stand up and stage a talking filibuster, at least to put the process on hold? In fact, Senate rules, which Reid will enforce, will limit the debate on the measure to 30 hours, divided evenly between the parties. That gives Republicans 15 hours, to be divided between 46 GOP senators. That’s not a lot of time. It’s possible the Republican caucus could decide to allow Cruz to filibuster for an extended period of time. But it’s unlikely, given the other senators who will likely want to speak out on the issue. In March, the Rand Paul filibuster went on for nearly 13 hours; don’t look for something like that to happen this time.

So Republicans don’t have the votes to actually filibuster a continuing resolution, and they don’t have the rules on their side to stage a talking filibuster. Supporters of defunding are bound to be disappointed. But the Senate aide says no one should be surprised. “This is not a gimmick or a scheme,” says the aide. “It is Rule 22 of the U.S. Senate. Everybody knew this. This is an existing rule. It is taught in Senate class when you do your orientation. It is not a surprise. Nobody sprung it on him [Sen. Cruz].”

Obviously, Cruz knows this, and he knows whatever he may try to do in the Senate is doomed to fail.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. CSK says:

    Cruz = charlatan.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 3

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Obviously, Cruz knows this, and he knows whatever he may try to do in the Senate is doomed to fail.

    He is counting on it. Nothing like failure to bring forth the foaming at the mouth hordes. This should be good for at least another $20 million in the campaign coffers.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 3

  3. Todd says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Nothing like failure to bring forth the foaming at the mouth hordes.

    Yes, it’s clearly somehow “unconstitutional” that Harry Reid might be able to thwart the will of “real Americans”. Afterall, Obamacare was only possible because of the rampant voter fraud that happened in 2006 and 2008 … and even with all that, Democrats couldn’t even get 60 votes in the Senate, so had to resort of “illegal” dirty tricks to get it passed. Oh yea, and we all know that everybody hates it, and it will be a disaster, and probably cause unemployment to go back to 10%, and doctors to leave the country because they’ll all be poor, because that’s what happens when socialism is forced on us by muslim fascist dictators. 😉

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 2

  4. C. Clavin says:

    While the Cruz Soap-Opera is going on Republicans have voted to strike $40B in food stamps while shoveling out more to Farm Subsidies, the ultimate Socialist program…and least justifiable…than is even rational.
    Food stamps amount to about $1.40 per meal for those with low incomes, or unable to even find work after the Bush Contraction of ’07-08.
    At the same time Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas receives a daily meal allowance of $127.41 and he has collected over $40,000 in farm subsidies for himself.
    All of which is to say that Cruz is not the only Republican f’ -head by any stretch.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 17 Thumb down 3

  5. gVOR08 says:

    What Ted Cruz is trying to accomplish may or may not fail.

    Defunding Obamacare will almost certainly fail. Presumably to go back to the House for another attempt to take themselves hostage over the debt ceiling and a dozen futile votes to kill Obamacare. Cruz may or may not be able to con the TP into believing he didn’t fold like a cheap lawn chair. Given how gullible they are, I expect Cruz will come out a hero to the TP, thereby accomplishing everything he’s actually trying to accomplish.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  6. Jay says:

    Cruz is actually standing up for the majority of the people. All indications and polls say that Obamacare is not popular nor wanted. It was a pipe dream from the criminal beginning and has already wrecked havoc on the economy and employment of this nation.

    Cruz is betting on his future as a leader and going with the 60+ % that want to run from Obamacare, have no doubt this is a huge issue come 2014,16.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 4 Thumb down 17

  7. grumpy realist says:

    …I think we got a troll here….(puts helmet on with special vision goggles, flips filter to “IGNORE”)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  8. Xenos says:

    Cruz knows he can’t filibuster this. He will try to, any way, and when he gets gaveled down, or dragged off by a bailif, or whatever the punishment that applies in this situation, he will then cry ‘tyranny’, Fox News will make a big stink, and Cruz will raise a few million dollars for his presidential campaign. Reality, and a functioning political system, will take another hit.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  9. Xenos says:

    @Jay: “That’s some rule, that Rule 22”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  10. bandit says:

    @grumpy realist: Lefty circlejerk cries as different opinions are offered. Flip your filter to douchebag and look in the mirror

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 13

  11. anjin-san says:

    @ Jay

    Cruz is actually standing up for the majority of the people.

    The majority of the people want taxes raised for the rich. How come Cruz is sitting down on that one?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0

  12. al-Ameda says:

    @Jay:

    It was a pipe dream from the criminal beginning and has already wrecked havoc on the economy and employment of this nation.

    Another fact-free assertion.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  13. al-Ameda says:

    @bandit:

    Lefty circlejerk cries as different opinions are offered. Flip your filter to douchebag and look in the mirror

    At least he, unlike you, does not drink from a douchebag.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  14. OldmanRick says:

    Come on. This is politics. This entire fiasco was to set up the dim senators to take a stand on obummerscare. Midterms are just around the corner and lots of dims are vulnerable.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 8

  15. al-Ameda says:

    @OldmanRick:

    obummerscare

    Wow, did your mom help you with that?
    Or was that a Mensa creation?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0