Boehner To Ted Cruz: Time To Put Up Or Shut Up
House GOP leadership has been frustrated for weeks with Senate Republicans like Ted Cruz (R-TX) for putting the pressure on the lower chamber to defund Obamacare in exchange for funding the federal government. House leaders are convinced a government shutdown would be a political disaster for the Republican Party. But Cruz, Rand Paul, Mike Lee and others kept pressing, riling up the base for a shutdown showdown.Now, with the House poised to pass the bill that Cruz and company wanted, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) had a message Thursday for his Senate comrades: Put up or shut up.
“The fight here has been won. The fight over there is just beginning,” Boehner told reporters. “I expect my Senate colleagues to do everything they can to stop this law. It’s time for them to pick up the mantle and get the job done.”
The House will pass Friday a government spending bill that defunds the 2010 health care reform law, Boehner said. It’s not the bill that Boehner wanted to pass. But his original plan for a two-pronged vote, which would have allowed the Senate to strip the defund Obamacare language and keep the government running without a risk of shutdown, was stymied by a revolt from the rightwing of the GOP, spurred on in part by Cruz.
Now the House is passing a spending bill that greatly increases the possibility of a government shutdown. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said Thursday that it was “dead” upon reaching the Senate floor.
But the frustration for Boehner and other House conservatives is that Cruz has already been signaling defeat in his chamber.
“Harry Reid will no doubt try to strip the defund language from the continuing resolution, and right now he likely has the votes to do so,” Cruz said in a joint statement Wednesday with Lee and Sen. Marco Rubio (FL). “At that point, House Republicans must stand firm, hold their ground, and continue to listen to the American people.”
Get out the popcorn, this could get entertaining.