It’s Official: Old Guard GOP Senators Will Shoot Down Cruz’s Attempt to Make a Filibuster Possible on the Issue of ObamaCare
It’s an opportunity that careerist politicians can’t resist: the chance to look like they’re doing something about a divisive issue, while in reality they’re doing nothing . . . and incurring zero political risk in the process.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and many of his rank and file are poised to cast votes this week that will effectively rebuke Sen. Ted Cruz’s effort to filibuster a stopgap spending bill that would keep the government funded past Sept. 30.
Cruz has been calling on fellow Republicans to block the House-passed stopgap spending bill that defunds the president’s 2010 health care law because he sees the vote as a way to prevent Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., from stripping out the Obamacare funding blockade.
But a GOP-led filibuster puts many Republicans in the tough spot of opposing a bill they actually support while also likely causing a government shutdown. Any vote to filibuster is likely to come before Reid moves to strike the Obamacare defunding language.
“Sen. 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. He will also vote against any amendment that attempts to add Obamacare funding back into the House Republicans’ bill,” said Don Stewart, spokesman for the Kentucky Republican. “If and when the Majority Leader goes down that path, Washington Democrats will have to decide — without hiding behind a procedural vote — whether or not to split with their leadership and join Republicans and their constituents in opposing the re-insertion of Obamacare funding into the House-passed bill.”
You see what they’re doing there. A vote to consider the bill is really a vote for ObamaCare, because it smooths the way for Harry Reid to amend the most central provision and take out the defunding language by a majority vote. Cruz’s method, opposing the bill being considered at all, makes a filibuster possible, allowing Cruz to stand up and speechify about ObamaCare. But, because Cruz’s tactic requires him — technically but only technically — to “oppose” (try to filibuster) a bill he actually supports, it’s a tough sell for the low information voter. (Cruz is up to the task of explaining this, as you can see from last night’s post.) But, just as the fighting approach is tough to explain, the converse is true: the do-nothing vote is easy to explain. It’s easy to pretend you’re doing something, because you can say you voted for the consideration of a good bill! Why, what could be wrong with that?
Witness Lindsey Graham trying to pull the wool over the eyes of the low info voter:
Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican who is up for re-election and faces a tea party challenge, didn’t mince words about the problem with the tactics being employed by his fellow GOP senators.
“I think we’ll take up the House bill because it’s a good bill. I can’t imagine filibustering the bill that I like from the House. There will be a vote to take out the defunding of Obamacare. It will be a majority vote,” Graham said Monday on Fox News. “And I’m hoping some Democrats will side with all Republicans to keep the defunding in place, but I doubt it.”
Make no mistake: anyone voting to consider this bill is allowing the funding of ObamaCare and knows it.
And they’ll look you right in the eye and tell you the opposite.