By Elise Viebeck - 07/30/13 04:37 PM EDT
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) slammed House Republicans for holding "empty, symbolic" votes to repeal ObamaCare instead of forcing the law's demise with tougher tactics.
Speaking at the Heritage Foundation on Tuesday, Cruz touted his plan to threaten a government shutdown in September until President Obama agrees to defund the healthcare law.
The freshman senator said he was frustrated by the House's nearly 40 attempts to thwart the Affordable Care Act, saying the votes made for "ideal politics" but were "largely symbolic with no chance of passage."
"It's been one of my biggest surprises in the Senate. … I didn't realize how many Republicans love to have a fig-leaf vote where they can go and tell their constituents" they accomplished something, Cruz said.
Only a handful of House votes have ultimately led to adjustments within the Affordable Care Act.
The chamber will hold its 40th vote against the healthcare law this week on a bill to stop the IRS from participating in the reform's implementation.
Cruz is shopping a strategy, crafted by Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), to block any government-funding bill that includes money for ObamaCare, then blame President Obama if a shutdown ensues. Lee said last week that he had the support of a dozen colleagues.
Many Republicans have come out strongly against the plan, however, saying it will destroy the GOP's standing with the public.
Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) on Tuesday called it a "silly effort."