Texas Sen. Ted Cruz said Wednesday that too many of his fellow Republicans are "scared" of his bid to defund Obamacare and are exaggerating the consequences of taking a stand during an upcoming budget showdown on Capitol Hill.
Calling intra-party divisions "unfortunate and disappointing," the freshman Republican called out GOP lawmakers who have not backed a conservative-led strategy to cut off funds for the Affordable Care Act before the new fiscal year.
"Right now, far too many Republicans are scared of this fight," Mr. Cruz told radio host Rush Limbaugh.
Senior Republicans have been reluctant to tie a short-term spending deal this September to the health care law, saying the public will blame them for threatening to shut down the government.
But Mr. Cruz said a brief government shutdown in the 1990s brought only "short-term political pain" for the Republican Party and years of balanced budgets for the federal government.
Mr. Cruz and allies like Republican Sens. Mike Lee of Utah and Marco Rubio of Florida have said Republicans need to stand firm on the health care law before consumers begin to enroll Oct. 1 on state-based health exchanges, where those without employer-based insurance can buy coverage with the help of government subsidies.
Otherwise, Mr. Cruz said, Americans will get "addicted to the subsidies, addicted to the sugar."
He said that as it stands, Republicans are fighting his efforts to defund the law more strongly than Democrats.
"That's a sad state of affairs," he told Mr. Limbaugh.
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