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Scrutiny mounts for Cruz's Senate filibuster plan as shutdown deadline nears

 

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz laid out his strategy on Sunday for trying to dismantle ObamaCare in the Senate, amid increasing questions about whether he has the support of fellow chamber Republicans and if he’ll force a government shutdown to win.

Cruz explained to “Fox News Sunday” his procedural strategy, after suggesting Friday that Senate Republicans use a filibuster to block Senate Democrats’ attempt to use their majority to swiftly vote down the House-approved plan -- which is to fund the entire federal government, except ObamaCare, before the Oct. 1 deadline.  

“If Senate Republicans stand together, we can stop [Majority Leader] Harry Reid,” said Cruz, the Tea Party-backed senator.

Cruz suggested Senate Republicans take their stand by attempting to block Reid’s effort to exclude GOP input through cloture, which can block debates and amendments with only 50 'yes' votes.

“If the majority is going to run over the minority with a train, then the minority has the ability to stop them.” he said. “A vote for cloture is a vote for ObamaCare.”

Still, Cruz said he doesn’t know if he can get 41 votes should any vote go a 60-vote super majority.

Cruz’s plan is facing criticism from Democrats as well as Republicans, who, based on recent polls, fear they will be blamed for a government shutdown.

Among the congressional Republican leaders opposing Cruz and his plan are Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker and New York Rep. Peter King, who voted Friday in favor of the House plan but said Cruz’s efforts will expose him as a “fraud.”

Missouri Democrat Sen. Claire McCaskill told “Fox News Sunday” that she couldn't believe Republicans were going to “throw a tantrum and throw the entire economic recovery under a bus.”

She also rejected Cruz’s argument that Senate Democrats are using “brute political force,” saying they are simply following the will of voters who last year re-elected Obama and reject Republicans trying to end ObamaCare.

Cruz said he expects the Senate, if it votes down the House plan, would send it back to leaders of the Republican-controlled chamber, with the deadline for a temporary spending bill just eight days away.