It’s only a sorta-filibuster. An end to the debate on the funding bill is already set, so even if Cruz spoke until Thursday, he can’t stop a vote from coming. At best he can delay it a few hours, says the Morning News.
Few GOP colleagues support the effort and many in both parties view it as grandstanding. The legislation Cruz is stalling is the House-passed bill that defunds the health care law while keeping the rest of the government running, in time to avert an Oct. 1 shutdown.
“We’d all be hard pressed to explain why we’re opposed to a bill we’re in favor of,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said a few moments ago, explaining why he rejects the filibuster. “I’m not reluctant to explain voting for things I’m for.”
Cruz, on the floor, has compared the Senate to the Little Engine That Could. But instead of “I think I can, I think I can,” he said, Washington insiders are beset by a spirit of defeatism.
Earlier, Cruz was wearing either dress shoes or boots. On the Senate floor — not that you can see it on CSpan — he’s wearing black casual or walking shoes with reflectors on the heels.
View the excitement live through the video feed above.
UPDATE: National Journal is live-blogging the speech. A sample of the sort of arguments our senator from the great state of Texas is making:
If you were betting on a WWII appearance within the first hour of Cruz speaking, you’re in luck! The senator compared people (namely, pundits) who say that his attempt to stop or defund Obamacare can’t be done to British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s appeasement of Hitler and the Nazis.
Cruz did admit that there have been some historical obstacles that have proved as daunting to overcome as the Affordable Care Act: “The moon might be as intimidating as Obamacare.”