Cruz: GOP a ‘laughingstock’ if ObamaCare repeal fails

Cruz: GOP a ‘laughingstock’ if ObamaCare repeal fails
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Sen. Ted CruzTed CruzWill Republicans stand up to the NRA's insurrection rhetoric? Rocky rollout for Senate healthcare bill Overnight Healthcare: Latest on Senate healthcare bill | Four conservatives say they'll oppose | Obama slams bill | Health groups offer scathing criticism MORE (R-Texas) says "failure is not an option" as Republicans seek to repeal and replace ObamaCare, claiming the party would become "a laughingstock" if it cannot pass healthcare reform with control of both the White House and Congress.

“The time for talk is over,” Cruz told conservative activists during a Wednesday rally in Washington, D.C., as first reported by the Washington Examiner. "Now is the time for action.

“Failure is not an option. If Republicans take this opportunity and blow it, we will rightly be considered a laughingstock.”

Cruz said Republicans had campaigned too long on striking the 2010 healthcare act just to fail now.

“For six years, Republicans have campaigned over and over and over again, saying, ‘If only you’d give us the House, we’ll repeal ObamaCare,’ ” he said. " 'If you only give us the Senate, we’ll repeal ObamaCare. If only you give us the White House, we’ll repeal ObamaCare.’ ”

“You know what? We’re out of excuses," the former presidential candidate added. "We must honor our promise and repeal ObamaCare.”

Cruz added the GOP "could very easily screw it up," but he saw reason to be optimistic about legislative success.

“I believe we are poised to be the most productive Congress in decades. We have the opportunity to do an enormous amount of good.”

Cruz’s remarks come amid fierce interparty debate over the House GOP’s legislation for repealing and replacing ObamaCare.

Conservatives have voiced skepticism toward many of its details, especially refundable tax credits many say are a “new entitlement.” Centrists, meanwhile, fear rolling back Medicaid would leave too many uninsured.

Speaker Paul RyanPaul RyanLawmakers consider new security funding in wake of shooting Paul Ryan: ‘Beautiful day’ to catch up with Bono Healthcare spending: the elephant in the tax reform room MORE (R-Wis.) vowed last week the bill would have enough votes to pass when it hits the House floor, though it must first survive hearings in the House Budget and Rules committees, where all Democrats are expected to vote against it.

Thirteen House Republicans have pledged to oppose the bill, according to The Hill’s Whip List, as has Sen. Rand PaulRand PaulRand Paul: Insurance should be available for a day Overnight Cybersecurity: Trump tweetstorm on Russia probe | White House reportedly pushing to weaken sanctions bill | Podesta to testify before House Intel Rocky rollout for Senate healthcare bill MORE (R-Ky.) in the upper chamber.