Sen. Barbara BoxerBarbara BoxerDems gain upper hand on budget Overnight Finance: Senate rejects funding bill as shutdown looms | Labor Dept. to probe Wells Fargo | Fed to ease stress test rules for small banks Funding bill rejected as shutdown nears MORE (D-Calif.) said Thursday that while Sen. Ted CruzTed CruzHouse approves stopgap funding, averting costly shutdown Overnight Tech: TV box plan faces crucial vote | Trump transition team to meet tech groups | Growing scrutiny of Yahoo security Could Snapchat be the digital bridge to younger voters? MORE (R-Texas) says Congress must protect people from ObamaCare, she sees it as her job to protect the American people from Cruz.
Boxer acknowledged on the Senate floor that ObamaCare had a "very, very tough rollout" in its early weeks. But she said more than two million people have now enrolled in a health plan under ObamaCare, and said Cruz is trying to get people to forget that.
"While Senator Cruz says we've done nothing to protect the people, the opposite is true. We stand in support of the people."
Boxer read a few letters from constituents who are now able to buy insurance under the ObamaCare exchanges, and said she would not let Republicans repeal the law.
"I'm not going to let Senator Cruz take away his insurance," she said after reading one constituent letter.
Boxer spoke after the Senate approved a $1 trillion spending bill for the rest of 2014. Just before that vote, Cruz asked for unanimous consent to add two amendments to defund ObamaCare for 2014, but Democrats rejected both of those requests.
Despite Boxer's comments, Cruz argued that ObamaCare has led to higher premiums, canceled policies and reduced job opportunities due to requirements that companies must offer their full-time workers an insurance plan. He also said there is no denying these adverse impacts, and said Congress has no excuses not to repeal the law at this point.
"The essence of irresponsibility is seeing a harm and seeing the facts, and refusing to act," Cruz said.