“We saw the House of Representatives stand up to defy Washington conventional wisdom and stand with the American people against Obamacare,” Cruz said on the Mark Levin radio show. “Tthat was remarkable, it was an incredible victory. Where this went off track is when it came to the Senate, and Senate Republicans didn’t stand united alongside House Republicans.”
“Senate Republicans instead divided in half and began going on television, going on radio, going everywhere, blasting House Republicans saying, we cannot win, this will fail, there’s no way to win,” he continued. “And when you’ve got half the Senate Republican caucus firing their cannons at the House Republicans it sabotages their effort.”
Cruz led the charge in provoking a government shutdown over the funding of ObamaCare by pushing House Republicans to withhold all government appropriations in an attempt to defund the president’s signature legislative achievement.
Some Republicans have since openly chastised the freshman Tea Party favorite, questioning their strategy and arguing it was unrealistic to believe the Senate or White House would agree to defunding the healthcare law. Some in the GOP were also worried that their party would be blamed for the shutdown; a fear that has borne out in the polls.
But Cruz said if Senate Republicans had only held the line, the outcome would’ve been different, even though Democrats control the Senate and the White House.
“We saw the House of Representatives stand up and lead and they did,” Cruz said. “But imagine one shift, imagine if Senate Republicans had stood united and supported the House Republicans and said we have to stop this disaster that is ObamaCare…that’s how we would’ve won this fight. If only Senate Republicans had had the courage that was demonstrated by House Republicans, we could’ve won this fight.”
The Senate is expected to a pass a bill on Wednesday that would reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling until Feb. 7. The only concession Republicans got was a procedure to beef up the verification process for those who apply for ObamaCare subsidies through the federal healthcare exchanges.
Cruz called the concession a “tiny little straw that we got,” but has said he won’t try to block the bipartisan deal.
Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) will likely put the bill to a vote in the House shortly after, where it’s expected to pass with the help of Democrats.