Cruz said many GOP senators are still on the fence about a scheduled cloture vote Friday to advance the House-passed bill, but admitted it is likely to receive the necessary votes and be amended.
He urged the House not to relent if that happens.
“They defunded ObamaCare, and when it goes back to the House, I hope and believe House Republicans will continue to stand their ground. If they do, I think we can win this fight, because every day the momentum is with us, the American people are getting energized and getting engaged.”
Cruz urged citizens to contact their lawmakers, because many GOP senators are still on the fence. He admitted, though, there is vocal opposition to his tactic within the Senate GOP.
“If everyone who has vocally said that he was going to vote for cloture does so, then Harry ReidHarry ReidThe DC bubble is strangling the DNC Dems want Sessions to recuse himself from Trump-Russia probe Ryan says Trump, GOP 'in complete sync' on ObamaCare MORE will get the votes he needs to fund ObamaCare,” he said. “Now there are a lot of senators who I think are still on the fence. ... it can still make a real difference.”
With Democrats holding a 54-seat majority, only six Republicans would need to vote on a procedural motion to advance the House-passed bill. After that, Democrats would be able to strip the ObamaCare language with a majority vote.
House Republicans initially passed a measure last week to keep the government operating through Dec. 15, that also would defund ObamaCare.
Senate Democrats are poised to strip the ObamaCare language Friday and send the funding measure back to the House. The Senate version would fund the government through Nov. 15.
It's unclear what will happen next. The government will shut down on Oct. 1 without a deal.
After the House vote last week, some GOP members blasted Cruz for issuing a statement admitting the votes in the Senate likely did not exist to execute his plan after he had urged the House to take up the cause.
He subsequently launched a 21-hour speech on the Senate floor, but failed to convince many in his party to go along with him.