Senate advances ObamaCare, budget bill after marathon Cruz speech

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from FoxNews,

The Senate voted Wednesday to advance a controversial bill that would both avert a government shutdown while defunding ObamaCare, after Sen. Ted Cruz delivered a marathon 21-hour speech in a bid to rally public opposition to the health care law.

Despite Cruz’s efforts, Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid is expected to swiftly strike the ObamaCare language, leaving only a stopgap spending bill that would keep the government open until mid-November. This will tee up yet another stand-off with Republicans. Without an agreement, the government will partially shut down on Oct. 1, but some Republicans continue to demand that the health law be defunded in exchange for a budget bill.

“ObamaCare isn’t working,” Cruz said Wednesday, as he departed the Senate floor after speaking in opposition to the law from Tuesday afternoon straight through until noon on Wednesday.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid countered that his floor speech was a “big waste of time” and only brought the government closer to a shutdown.

“With all due respect, I’m not sure we learned anything new,” Reid said.

Cruz’s speech was a symbolic stand, as he was not actually able to stall the bill at this point. In the end, he and every other senator voted to advance the bill and proceed to debate. The vote was 100-0.

From Tuesday afternoon until noon on Wednesday, Cruz — with occasional remarks by Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, and other GOP conservatives — controlled the Senate floor and railed against ObamaCare. At 10:41 a.m. EDT Wednesday, Cruz and his allies reached the 20-hour mark, the fourth-longest Senate speech since precise record-keeping began in 1900.

Cruz said he has learned that defying party leaders is “survivable,” adding, “Ultimately, it is liberating” and that his long evening involved “sometimes some pain, sometimes fatigue.”

But he added, “You know what? There’s far more pain in rolling over. … Far more pain in not standing up for principle.”

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