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Cruz: 'I have no intention of delaying the vote'

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Cruz and Lee had spearheaded the campaign to attach ObamaCare language to any new budget bills, and had pushed their colleagues to take a hard-line stance.

But the pair emerged from a meeting of Senate Republicans Wednesday afternoon to say they would let the budget agreement — which contains only one provision on ObamaCare — move forward.

"Some of us want to see it first — we still don't have text," Lee said. "But provided we get the text and have time to review it and everything, I suspect we'll collapse the time."

There has been speculation that the bipartisan deal might originate in the House, thereby eliminating some procedural hurdles when the bill moved to the Senate. But with Cruz and Lee withdrawing their filibuster threats, several GOP senators said the upper chamber will likely act first on the agreement.

The deal reached by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) would fund the government through Jan. 15 and raise the debt ceiling until Feb. 7. It would require income verification for subsidies under ObamaCare, but otherwise leave the healthcare law untouched.

The weekslong fight over ObamaCare has left the GOP sharply divided and licking its wounds, after centrist Republicans warned for weeks that the battle was futile and damaging to the party.

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