WASHINGTON (CNN) — Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas said Sunday that Republicans may filibuster when the Senate considers a bill passed by the House last week that funds the government but defunds Obamacare.
Cruz said the filibuster could come if Senate Democrats try to strip the bill of language cutting funding of Obamacare and try to pass cloture, meaning that a simple majority would allow the bill to pass.
“If the majority is going to run the minority over with a train, the minority has the ability to stop them,” Cruz said on “Fox News Sunday.”
If that’s the route Democrats want to take, he added, they’ll be the ones responsible for a potential government shutdown.
“I believe we should stand our ground, and I don’t believe (Senate Majority Leader) Harry Reid or Barack Obama should shut down the federal government,” Cruz said. “The House voted last week to fund the federal government. If Harry Reid kills that, Harry Reid is responsible for shutting down the government.”
Cruz has rankled members of his own party in the House because many say he has put them on the hook for a bill that they know can’t pass the Senate and will set the stage for a government shutdown.
As for next steps, if the House and Senate aren’t able to come to an agreement, Cruz suggested smaller actions to keep parts of the government funded.
“I think the House should hold its ground and should continue passing smaller continuing resolutions one department at a time. It should start with a continuing resolution focused on the military. Send it over and let’s see if Harry Reid is willing to shut down the military just because he wants to force Obamacare on the American people,” Cruz said.
But the House already did pass a bill on July 24 that funds the military through September 30, 2014.
More broadly though, Cruz said the only way to break a stalemate may be to recruit Senate Democrats from red states and bring them over to the side of Republicans.
If the two sides can’t come together, government funding will run out by the end of the month.
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