Cruz Vows to Speak Until 'No Longer Able to Stand'

Texas senator rails against ObamaCare, but can't actually delay vote
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 24, 2013 4:17 PM CDT
Cruz Vows to Speak Until 'No Longer Able to Stand'
This image from Senate video shows Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, speaking on the Senate floor.   (AP Photo/Senate TV)

(Newser) – It's filibuster-y, but apparently not a filibuster. Sen. Ted Cruz took the Senate floor about 2:40pm Eastern today and promised to speak against ObamaCare until he is "no longer able to stand," reports AP. It sounds like an "old-fashioned talking filibuster," says the Washington Post, although, technically speaking, it's not a filibuster in the eyes of many parliamentarians. The Hill explains: A filibuster holds the promise of a lawmaker speaking long enough to block a vote, but that can't happen here. No matter what Cruz does, the Senate will vote on a procedural motion tomorrow on the House resolution that defunds ObamaCare.

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"I want to disabuse everyone," said Harry Reid before Cruz started. "There will be no filibuster today. Filibusters stop people from voting, and we are going to vote tomorrow." But even if it amounts to nothing more than a really long speech, Cruz is taking advantage. "I rise today in opposition to ObamaCare,” he began. "This grand experiment is simply not working. It is time to make DC listen." Fellow conservative Mike Lee of Utah gave Cruz his first break after about an hour. Politico's take: "A potential 2016 presidential candidate, Cruz is playing to the GOP base as much as he is bashing business as usual inside the Capitol." (Read more Ted Cruz stories.)

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