By Jeremy Herb - 09/20/13 09:39 PM EDT
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said Friday that the House should pass a government funding measure for only the military if the Senate sends back a spending bill that does not defund ObamaCare.
“I hope they respond to the Senate, if Harry Reid does try to force a government shutdown, by passing one continuing resolution (CR) after another funding each specific piece of government, starting off with funding the military,” Cruz said on Fox News.
Cruz’s comments are the first specific suggestion he’s put forward about what the House should do next week if the Senate passes a continuing resolution (CR) that does not defund ObamaCare, which Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has indicated he plans to do.
House leaders have not said yet how they will react to a Senate-passed funding measure that does not repeal ObamaCare.
Cruz has faced criticism this week from rank-and-file House Republicans after saying the House is the chamber that must prevent a CR from passing without repealing Obama’s healthcare law.
His comments were a tacit admission that Senate Republicans would not likely be able to stop the Democratic-led Senate from passing a funding measure after removing the ObamaCare repeal provisions.
“Harry Reid will no doubt try to strip the defund language from the continuing resolution, and right now he likely has the votes to do so," Cruz said.
"At that point, House Republicans must stand firm, hold their ground, and continue to listen to the American people."
When the government nearly shut down in 2011, Pentagon planners told service members they would remain on the job without pay, while roughly have of Defense Department civilians would be sent home without pay, according to Stars and Stripes. Troops would not be paid, however, until the shutdown was over.