Tea party Republican Sen. Ted Cruz ended his all-night marathon speech to defund President Barack Obama's health care law after 21 hours and 19 minutes of non-stop talking that even included references to Dr. Seuss, Star Wars, and Duck Dynasty.
Cruz began his marathon at 2:41 p.m. Tuesday and ended it at noon Wednesday. The potential 2016 presidential candidate spoke against the 3-year-old health law, referred to by many as 'Obamacare,' and Congress' unwillingness to get rid of the law.
After the marathon speech, the Senate pushed ahead to a test vote Wednesday on a bill to avert a government shutdown. The temporary spending bill is required to keep the government running after the Oct. 1 start of the new budget year. Cruz's mission was to make the case of why the Affordable Care Act should be defunded in the resolution.
A final vote on passage of the stop-gap bill could come late Sunday which would give the House of Representatives less than a day to work on the resolution before the government shuts down on Oct. 1.
Below are 21 quotes to sum up Cruz's 21-hour speech.
"I intend to speak in support of de-funding Obamacare until I am no longer able to stand, to do everything that I can to help Americans stand together and recognize this grand experiment three and a half years ago is quite simply not working."
"Millions of people are asking for accountability, truth, the truth about Obamacare is it's failing the men and women of America. It is time, quite simply, to make D.C. listen."
"Hardworking American families are struggling and their life has become harder and harder and harder. And madam president Obamacare is the biggest job killer in this country. The American people want to stop this madness and so do I."
"I don't know if it's the water, something in the air, the cherry blossoms, but people get here and they stop listening to the American people."
"When President John F. Kennedy told this country “We are going to send a man to the moon.” There were a lot of people who said it can’t be done. It’s impossible. It cannot be done. And yet John F. Kennedy had the vision to say Americans can do things whatever we set our mind too….We get to Obamacare and what do all of those voices say: It can’t be stopped. It can’t be done. We cannot defund it. Now, Mr. President by any measure, Obamacare is a far less intimidating foe than those that I have discussed. With a possible exception of the moon, the moon might be as intimidating as Obamacare."
"Millions of Americans tune into Duck Dynasty so I want to point out just a few words of wisdom from duck dynasty...Jay said Redneck rule number 1 most things can be fixed with duct tape and extension cords, that’s actually very true."
"It’s a late night. I’m going to venture to say most members of the United States Senate are home in bed, asleep, while America lives the nightmare."
"I would say standing here after 14 hours standing on your own feet, there is sometimes some pain, sometimes some fatigue that is involved. But you know what there is far more pain involved in rolling over."
"I wondered if at some-point we were going to see a tall gentleman in a mechanical breathing apparatus come forward and say in a deep voice say "Mike Lee I am your father" …and just like in star wars movies the empire will strike back."
"I will credit my father, he invented green eggs and ham. He did it two ways. The easy way was he would put green food coloring in. 'Green eggs and ham' was my favorite book as a little boy. You can actually do it- the food coloring is a little bit cheating. But if you take spinach and mix it into the eggs, the eggs turn green."
"When Americans tried it, they discovered they did not like green eggs and ham and they did not like Obamacare either. They did not like Obamacare in a box, with a fox, in a house or with a mouse. It is not working."
"This is the first time I've seen when Republican leadership is actively whipping the Republican conference to support Harry Reid and give him the power to enact his agenda. I'm quite confident is not what Texans expect of me.
"You might think a camel’s hair brush must be made of camels….But a Camel’s hair brush is made of squirrel fur, and it makes you wonder the squirrels apparently have a very bad marketing department."
"They want to make this about a battle of this senator versus that senator, this person versus that person. So it's all personal. It's like reading the Hollywood gossip pages. That's how this issue is covered."
"I simply want to note to the American people who have so engaged that this debate is in your hands. Ultimately, all 100 senators all 46 republicans all 54 democrats work for you. The pleas from the American people, I can tell you in Texas are deafening. The frustration that the United States senate doesn't listen to the people is deafening."
"This fight is not about personalities. Look, most Americans could not give a flying flip about a bunch of politicians in Washington. Who cares? You know, almost all of us are in cheap suits with bad haircuts. Who cares?"
"I like their little burgers. I'm a big fan of eating White Castle burgers."
"Mr. President if the representations that so many members of this body make to the American people were true: that Obamacare is terrific, is wonderful, then I would think the President would be eager to have it kick in before the election. If it were a good thing, you would want the good stuff to happen before the election and not after the election."
“I think it is better for this country if this vote is at a time that is visible for the whole country so that the American people have a voice in it, and I think sticking it on a Saturday in the middle of Football games disserves that objective.”
"Although I am weary there is still at least strength in my legs to stand a little longer….if the majority would consent to allow me speak until the conclusion of my remarks and then begin the next legislative day and have the prayer at the conclusion of those remarks. If the majority says no, then my time will end at noon under the rules of the senate."
#21 Senator Harry Reid, (D-Nevada) on Cruz's speech:
"For lack of a better way of describing this, it has been a big waste of time."