A top Senate Republican said Thursday that he will not support Sen. Ted Cruz’s approach to defunding Obamacare because he thinks the GOP would be better off forcing red-state Democrats to cast a vote on whether to fund the health care law.
Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn congratulated Mr. Cruz, a fellow Texas Republican, for highlighting the pitfalls of the Affordable Care Act and the GOP effort to defund it in his 21-hour-plus Senate floor marathon, but said Republicans shouldn’t block a vote on a House bill that withholds funding for the health care law.
“The difference of opinion really is about tactics within the family,” Mr .Cornyn told Fox News. “If Republicans don’t support a bill the defunds Obamacare, I don’t know how to explain that to the American people, and if we allow government to shutdown, ironically Obamacare still gets funded.”
Mr. Cruz said that Republicans should not allow the debate over the House bill to advance in the Senate because a procedural vote, known as cloture, would give Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, the chance to strip out the provision defunding Obamacare.
But Mr. Cruz is fighting an uphill battle and does not appear to have enough support from his GOP colleagues, who warn that the Cruz strategy would lead to a government shutdown that would hurt Republicans in coming elections.
“The vote we are going to have this week in the Senate on the continuing resolution with the defunded it provision attached, it is important that we do not kill it by denying cloture on that bill because why would you vote to kill a bill that you actually support,” Mr. Cornyn said. “That would set up a process where these red-state Democrats would have to vote to strip Obamacare out of there.”