Cruz Will Use 'Any Procedural Means Necessary’ to Force Vote on Defunding Obamacare

Terence P. Jeffrey | March 11, 2013 | 5:04pm EDT
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Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

( - When the U.S. Senate this week takes up the continuing resolution to fund the federal government for the remainder of fiscal year 2013, Sen. Ted Cruz (R.-Texas) will offer an amendment that will prohibit funding for the implementation of Obamacare during that period.

“I believe we will have a vote on this amendment and I have said I am willing to employ any procedural means necessary to ensure that we do get a vote on the amendment,” Cruz told reporters today.

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Cruz, who favors total repeal of Obamacare and has introduced legislation to do that, said in a conference call on Monday that at a minimum Obamacare should not be implemented until Gross Domestic Product has started growing at its average post-World War II level or better.

“The historic levels of growth have been 3.3 percent and, in my view, at a minimum, we should see a return to those historic levels of growth before Congress is willing to contemplate putting through another massive burden on the economy that hurts productivity and kills jobs,” said Cruz.

The Republican-controlled House passed its version of the CR last week. But the Republican leaders of that chamber did not put language in their bill to defund Obamacare or any part of it. While the CR put forward by the House Republican leaders did prohibit the administration from spending any money on foreign-made ball bearings, it did not prohibit the administration from spending money to move forward with implementing any and all provisions of Obamacare.

The House-passed CR, for example, did not include language to prohibit the administration from implementing the regulation it has issued under Obamacare that would require health-care plans to provide cost-free coverage for sterilizations, contraception and abortion-inducing drugs--a regulation the Catholic bishops of the United States have declared a violation of religious liberty. asked Cruz if there was some way under Senate rules that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid could prevent a vote on his defunding amendment.

“I certainly don’t want to speculate on steps that Sen. Reid could take to try to prevent a vote,” said Cruz. “In my view this deserves an up and down vote and I believe we will get an up and down vote on it.”

Last week, Cruz supported Sen. Rand Paul (R.-Ky.) when Paul filibustered the nomination of CIA director John Brennan in order to force the administration to clearly state that it did not believe the president had the authority to use drones to kill American citizens on American soil if they were not posing an imminent threat of violence.

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