With a cloture vote pending in the Senate tomorrow that seems almost certain to pass, Ted Cruz and his lower-key sidekick Mike Lee are going for all the drama they can squeeze from a mini-filibuster that appears modeled on Rand Paul’s status-boosting filibuster back in March against the nomination of John Brennan as CIA director:
Ted Cruz seized control of the Senate floor on Tuesday afternoon, vowing to “speak in support of defunding Obamacare until I am no longer able to stand.”
But Cruz cannot stop a Senate now in motion to eventually return a clean continuing resolution to the House a few days after the upper chamber approves it. By Senate rule, the latest the Senate will take the first procedural vote on a House spending bill that defunds Obamacare is 1 p.m. on Wednesday — a reality Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) broadcast to the world on Tuesday morning when he opened the Senate.
Cruz also doesn’t have the support of the Senate GOP leadership in his ploy, since Mitch McConnell has publicly criticized the leaders of the “defund Obamacare” crusade for filibustering a bill that does just that.
So I don’t know there will be time to have T-shirts printed up like Paul’s minions did during his March gabapalooza, and even if they appear, they’d probably have to read “I Bled Until Dead With Ted.” There’s just not enough “standing” going on to justify calling this a “stand.”