By Justin Sink - 10/20/13 01:20 PM EDT
A defiant Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said in an interview broadcast on Sunday that he would "continue to do anything I can to stop the train wreck that is Obamacare," hinting that he could again seek to complicate efforts to pass a long-term budget deal.
Under the agreement signed by President Obama last week, government funding will again run out on Jan. 15. Lawmakers are hopeful they can strike a long-term budget agreement before that date, and Democrats have said they would not support any bill that repeals or delays key provisions of the president's healthcare law.
"What I intend to do is continue standing with the American people to work to stop ObamaCare, because it isn't working, it's costing people's jobs, and it's taking away their healthcare," Cruz told ABC News.
That pledge comes despite Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-Ky.) declaration to The Hill earlier this week that the government would not shut down again over ObamaCare.
“One of my favorite old Kentucky sayings is there’s no education in the second kick of a mule. The first kick of a mule was when we shut the government down in the mid-1990s and the second kick was over the last 16 days,” McConnell said. “There is no education in the second kick of a mule. There will not be a government shutdown.
“I think we have fully now acquainted our new members with what a losing strategy that is,” McConnell added.
But a defiant Cruz said he didn't mind antagonizing his fellow senators.
"There's an old saying that 'Politics, it ain't beanbag,'" Cruz said. "And, you know, I'm not serving in office because I desperately needed 99 new friends in the U.S. Senate. Given the choice between being reviled in Washington, D.C., and appreciated in Texas, or reviled in Texas and appreciated in Washington, I would take the former 100 out of 100 times."
The Texas Republican also defended comments he made earlier in the week in which he equated his fellow Senate Republicans to an air force bombing its own troops.
"I think that was unfortunate. I think it was unfortunate that you saw multiple members of the Senate Republicans going on television attacking House conservatives, attacking the effort to defund ObamaCare, saying 'it cannot win,' 'it's a fool's errand' and 'we will lose,' 'this must fail,' " Cruz said. "That is a recipe for losing the fight, and it's a shame."