(CNSNews.com) - Admitting that the fight to defund Obamacare "may end up going back to the House," Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) on Sunday urged the Republican-led House to "continue the fight."
"The American people don't want the government to shut down, and I don't think Harry Reid and President Obama should shut down the government. Listen, if that happens, if Harry Reid kills this bill in the Senate, I think the House should hold its ground and should begin passing smaller continuing resolutions, one department at a time.
"It should start with a continuing resolution focused on the military. Fund the military, send it over and let's see if Harry Reid is willing to shut down the military just because he wants to force Obamacare on the American people. I think that would be a very perilous decision for Harry Reid to make," Cruz told "Fox News Sunday."
"And if the House can keep driving this -- look, the House is the only body where Republicans have a majority, and so the House has to lead on this. And I view my job and (Sen.) Mike Lee's job as providing as much support, as much air cover as we can for the House to stand up and lead, and I commend them for having done that last week."
The government will shut down a week from today if Congress doesn't pass a continuing resolution to continue funding government operations at current levels.
House Republicans last week passed a CR that funds all government operations except for Obamacare. Cruz is now urging Senate Republicans to "stand united to stop Harry Reid from changing the House bill."
But a number of Senate Republicans, including John McCain (Ariz.), Bob Corker (Tenn.), and Rand Paul (Ky.), have said the Senate won't defund Obamacare. McCain said it's "not rational" to think Senate Republicans can do it.
"Fox News Sunday" host Chris Wallace told Cruz that he's "ticked off a whole bunch of your fellow Republicans" by getting them into a fight without a clear strategy to win.
"There are lots of folks in Washington that can choose to throw rocks," Cruz responded.
"Listen, let me tell you about a broader problem. A broader problem is, we have got career politicians, in both parties in Washington, who aren't listening to the American people. I've spent the entire month of August traveling Texas, traveling the country, speaking to the people.
"And the American people are hurting because Obamacare isn't working. It's killing jobs, it's driving up their health insurance rates, it's causing them to be pushed into part-time work. It's causing them to lose their health insurance. And I'll tell you why an awful lot of people in Washington are not happy, because they're hearing from their constituents, in overwhelming numbers, that their constituents are saying stand up and fight, stand up for principles. Don't have an exception for Congress and big corporations that doesn't apply to the American people."