Senate Republicans must 'stand our ground' on ObamaCare, Cruz says

Senate Republicans must "stand our ground" against their Democratic counterparts in next week's federal spending showdown over ObamaCare, Sen. Ted CruzTed CruzCruz holds back support for Trump with eye on abortion Trump takes victory lap over rivals' remarks What happens when the GOP base abandons the party platform? MORE (R-Texas) said Sunday.  

House Republicans scored a "tremendous victory" on Friday, Cruz said, when GOP members approved legislation to defund ObamaCare, as part of a plan to avoid a government shutdown in October.

"It is now our turn to unify our stand with [House] Republicans," Cruz said during an interview on "Fox News Sunday."

"I think we should stand our ground" against ObamaCare," he added.

Cruz has drawn harsh criticism from rank-and-file House Republicans, who accused the likely presidential hopeful of picking a political fight with Senate Democrats he will more than likely lose.

The rift highlights the desire by GOP lawmakers to avoid blame for any shutdown that occurs because of demands to kill ObamaCare.

Sen. Claire McCaskillClaire McCaskillWhy Wasserman Schultz must go Sanders aide: Easier for Dems to unify if Wasserman Schultz steps down Dem senator: DNC head ‘has to make a decision’ on her own future MORE (D-Mo.) said Cruz's political play in the Senate is more about the looming 2016 presidential race than it is about preventing a government shutdown.

Lawmakers should not "throw tantrums when we lose elections," McCaskill said Sunday, regarding repeated House GOP efforts to kill ObamaCare.

"This is about running for president for Ted Cruz," not a desire to stave off a potentially devastating shutdown, she added during an interview with Fox News.

Cruz declined to respond to McCaskill's comments but did accuse Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidPuerto Rico debt relief faces serious challenges in Senate McCain files B amendment to boost defense spending Dems to GOP: Cancel Memorial Day break MORE (D-Nev.) of using "brute political power" to derail the House measure in the upper chamber.

Senate Republicans on Monday will begin eyeing amendments and a possible cloture vote to the Senate version of legislation to avoid a government shutdown, Cruz said.

If Republicans fail to push the House version of the bill through the Senate, Cruz reiterated his support on Sunday for a military-only funding measure in the House.

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