McConnell Breaks With Cruz Over Filibuster Of Budget Resolution
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has announced that he will not be supporting the efforts of Ted Cruz to block the Senate from considering the Continuing Resolution passed last week by the House:
The Senate’s top Republican won’t oppose moving forward with the House-passed legislation to fund the government, breaking with Ted Cruz and conservatives on a key procedural issue.
A spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said that McConnell would not vote to block legislation passed last week by the House that would both f und the government past Sept. 30, but also strip funding for “Obamacare.”
That puts him at odds with Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, the leader of an effort to hold up a stopgap spending measure to avert a shutdown unless Democrats relent, and agree to eliminate funding for President Barack Obama’s health care reform law.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has started the procedural clock on the measure, setting the stage for a key test vote on the government funding bill on Wednesday morning.
“Senator McConnell supports the House Republicans’ bill and will not vote to block it, since it defunds Obamacare and funds the government without increasing spending by a penny,” said Don Stewart, a spokesman for McConnell.
McConnell’s deputy, Texas Sen. John Cornyn, joined with the Kentucky senator.
“Sen. Cornyn will support the House bill that defunds Obamacare. He will not support a CR that funds it,” said Drew Brandwie, a Cornyn spokesman.
So, that’s two Republican votes right there in favor of cloture. To that list, you can likely add Tom Coburn and John McCain, both of whom have expressed rather public exasperation with Cruz’s tactics over the past week. That puts Harry Reid one vote short of the 60 he needs to invoke cloture and there are arguably plenty of Republicans (Lisa Murkowski,
Olympia Snowe Susan Collins, Mark Kirk, Jeff Chiesa (the interim Senator from New Jersey) as well as retiring Senators like Saxby Chambliss) who could provide the last vote that Reid needs.