The political theater in DC in regard to the looming government shutdown and the fight over ObamaCare has resulted in this weird logic: Ted Cruz wants his fellow Republicans in the Senate to block a bill they support. Politico and New York lay it out: The House has sent to the Senate a spending bill that would defund ObamaCare, but Senate Democrats vow to restore the health-care funding. They can do so with a simple majority vote, which Cruz wouldn't be able to defeat. But he can try to prevent that vote from happening in the first place. Thus, he wants Republicans to block a procedural vote on the bill next week, by filibuster if necessary.
“I hope that every Senate Republican will stand together and oppose cloture on the bill in order to keep the House bill intact and not let Harry Reid add ObamaCare funding back in,” Cruz says. Which means that senators who oppose ObamaCare would be filibustering a bill that defunds it. Even some Republicans are scratching their heads: “The notion of encouraging Republican senators to vote against a bill they support doesn’t seem like a very sensible strategy to me," says Tennessee's Bob Corker. Meanwhile, Democrats are encouraging Harry Reid to up the ante, reports the Hill. Some such as Chuck Schumer not only want to restore ObamaCare funding but to jack up the amount of funding for the rest of the government as well. All the wrangling means that the Senate might not get a bill back to the House until Sept. 29, the day before the shutdown, reports the Washington Post. That means John Boehner would have less than 24 hours to decide whether he'll go along. (Read more government shutdown stories.)