As Sara Marie Brenner reported Friday for The Washington Times, “the Senate has successfully voted in support of cloture on a bill that defunds Obamacare, moving the legislation forward in the Senate.”
By a supermajority of 79 - 19, Senators agreed to end debate on the House version of the bill that defunds Obamacare."
Senators voting against cloture included Republican Senators Ted Cruz (TX), Mike Lee (UT), David Vitter (LA), Mike Enzi (WY), Tim Scott (SC), Dean Heller (NV), Marco Rubio (FL), Richard Shelby (AL), James Inhofe (OK), Rob Portman (OH), Jeff Sessions (AL). The official roll call is not yet available.
“This morning during his floor speech,” Brenner added, “Sen. Dan Coats (R-IN) explained that he would not oppose cloture because he wants to 'keep this process alive.' Coats asserts that a vote in support of cloture is indeed supportive of defunding Obamacare.”
Clearly, Coats failed to comprehend the magnitude of today’s vote.
As Cruz explained, supporting cloture allows Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) to "fill the tree" and add funding of Obamacare back into the bill and pass it "through the Senate with 51 votes."
"It is this simple majority vote that Cruz has been trying to avoid," Brenner noted.
While some were left scratching their heads when Cruz followed up his 21-hour speech to defund Obamacare with a vote to move ahead with the spending plan, there was an element of reason behind what others saw as madness.
As Voice 4 America’s Chau Phung noted Wednesday, “an aide to Cruz told CNN Chief Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash that Cruz still opposes any funding for Obamacare despite voting yes.”
While his marathon speech did not constitute a filibuster, it was intended to rally opposition to the Senate’s expected amendments that would restore the Obamacare funding.
Considering Friday's vote, the endeavor obviously failed to procure the "intended" results.
As World Net Daily’s Garth Kant reported Thursday -- while “critics accuse Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, of having no real plan to defund Obamacare and say he’s just grandstanding to promote himself and his career” – “Cruz made it evident he is motivated by one fact.”
“Three-and-a-half years ago, people could reasonably disagree on whether Obamacare might work,” he said to reporters during a conference call.
Today, it is now clear to any objective observer that Obamcare isn’t working.
In a separate report for The Washington Times Friday, Seth McLaughlin noted that -- even though Sen. Charles Grassley "said he supports Cruz’s strategy for defunding Obamacare" -- the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee “said via Twitter that he would vote against a parliamentary procedure, known as “cloture.”
“Clearly,” Grassley wasn’t paying attention when Cruz explained his “strategy” and also “failed to comprehend the magnitude of today’s vote.”
On Wednesday, The Hill reported that Kentucky Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell “downplayed the need to defund ObamaCare this week, and said the law would likely sink under its own weight as the realities of the law become more clear.”
"I think this law has no chance of working,” he said. “I don't believe that even if we are unable to defund it here in the next few days that we're necessarily stuck with it.”
As Examiner noted Aug. 16, Obamacare has already proven to be “a ‘clumsy monstrosity' of broken promises, delays and waivers.”
"I think it's pretty safe to conclude,” McConnell also said, “the things that can't work don't stick, don't last. Because we are, after all, a representative Democracy, the people can complain and discuss and tell us how they feel."
Considering the fact that – as Examiner noted Aug. 15 -- “polls have shown that a consistent majority of Americans have opposed Obamacare since it was signed into law in 2010" and "a growing majority still want the law repealed,” “it’s pretty safe to conclude” that Americans have been complaining and discussing and telling members of congress precisely “how they feel” about Obamacare.
“For a long time,” Cruz said of the obvious on Thursday, “elected politicians in both parties in Washington have not been listening to their constituents.”
On Aug. 3. Biz Pack Review noted that, "a week after Republican Sens. Ted Cruz and Mike Lee started a petition to garner support for defunding Obamacare, people are responding – in astounding numbers."
An online petition at DontFundIt.com listed over 25,000 signatures when BizPac Review posted a report on July 27, but the total has quickly risen to over 175,000.
On Sept. 2, Red State reported that the petition had broken the million signatures mark.
As of 4:45 p.m. Friday, "Don't Fund It" had 1,890,431 signatures.
Meanwhile a "Pro Obamacare" petition -- aimed at showing support for President Barack Obama's healthcare overhaul bill before he signed it into law, reaped a whole 197 signatures.
Still, as Real Clear Politics reported Thursday, Reid told House Majority Leader John Boehner that “there’s no need for conversations” about defunding Obamacare.
We've spoken loudly and clearly, and we have the support of the president of the United States, and that's pretty good.
Yeah. To hell with what the American people want.
Despite Friday’s vote, Kant noted further Thursday that all is not lost.
“If enough Senate Republicans vote to give Harry Reid the authority to fund Obamacare,” Cruz said during Thursday’s conference call, “that does not mean the fight is over.”
A bill to fund Obamacare will still go back to the House. House Republicans can, and should, continue to stand their ground.
“If the House hold firms,” Cruz explained, “Harry Reid has no ability to muscle the House of Representatives.”
In a separate report for World Net Daily -- following Cruz’s “epic” speech -- Kant noted Wednesday that, “either voters made so many calls to establishment Republicans that their phone lines melted, or those GOP leaders took their phones off the hook.”
“Callers could not get through at all to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.,” Kant noted.
A message said the senator was experiencing a high volume of calls and directed members of the public to call back later or visit his website.
They went to his Facebook page instead, where they found a curious message, posted by McConnell while refusing to stand with Cruz during his 21-hour floor speech Tuesday.
Conservatives stand united in agreement that Obamacare should be defunded. With enough pressure, we can get 5 Senate Democrats to vote with us.
“Have you changed your position from earlier today?” James Vinson asked. “Why aren’t more of you on the floor supporting Ted Cruz?”
“Where are you tonight?” Lisa Marie and Mark Mogensen inquired. “Why aren't you on the Senate floor in support of Sen. Cruz? Stop the empty statements and get to work!”
“I am done with you McConnell,” Alfredo Daniel added via mobile, “Thanks for trying to sand bag Cruz, you have betrayed your constituents.”
The vast majority of the other 1,500 plus Americans who posted comments expressed the same sentiments.
However, after ignoring them all, McConnell reiterated the same statement on Wednesday.
If 5 Senate Democrats have the courage to vote with Republicans to defund Obamacare, we can accomplish exactly what Americans want us to. LIKE if you agree: This is their chance to make up for their votes in 2009.
“Mitch!! Hello!!! You there?” Heather Ransdell replied. “Oh I see, you're being like the rest of the government and not answering our questions! I guess Cruz and Paul are the only ones that believe Americans have a voice! Ignore us and we'll return the favor!"
“Where were you yesterday?” Jim Mattingly asked. “Why were you not standing with Senators Cruz and Rand Paul? Very disappointed. I guess you're ready to retire. You seem TIRED!”
“You blinked!” David Whitehead blasted. “Sad day when you're counting on Dems to do the right thing.”
The vast majority of the near 1,050 comments again expressed the same sentiments.
The message McConnell posted Thursday inspired even more outrage.
“The American people have spoken and Republicans have listened. It's time for the Democrats to listen to their constituents and vote to defund Obamacare.”
“No, YOU HAVE NOT LISTENED, McConnell,” Kirk Kelsen charged. “You say "ObamaCare will just fall apart." Good plan, McConnell. In your view, "Don't worry about that bomb going off. It will destroy itself.”
“Yes, we did speak but you were not listening!” Becky Hudson Prater noted. “Very disappointed in you and the rest of the Washington elite! Think you'd better come on back home and find out how the rest of the world lives. Although you don't have to be subjected to Obamacare like the rest of us do because you voted yourself out. Now it is our turn to vote you out!"
“Relying on Democrats to defund 0bamacare is the most inane tactic I've ever heard of,” David Neal Dankberg blasted. “A simple NO vote on cloture would show you support defunding Obamacare. Instead you are marching in lockstop with Harry Reid to fully fund 0bamacare. Keep your seat warm for Matt Bevin ... we are gonna throw you out.”
Again, nearly every one of over 500 comments expressed the same sentiments.
So much for the opinion expressed by Jesse Benton -- McConnell’s re-election Campaign Manager -- that McConnell’s absence on the Senate floor during Cruz’s filibuster is “irrelevant.”
CBN's David Brody posted an audio exclusive and a transcript of Benton's awkward interview with Joe Elliott on 970 WGTK in Louisville, Kentucky.
Kant also reported that the phone for Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain “was off the hook, too.”
The Arizona senator apparently had other matters on his mind during the Cruz speech, tweeting, “Final episode of #Broadchurch tonight – one of the most entertaining shows on TV right now."
“Callers to Minority Whip Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas,” Kant added, “also got a message saying the line was busy, but at least those callers were sent to voicemail.”
Curiously -- despite McConnell’s repetitious Facebook posts calling for Democrats to “defund Obamacare”-- his name was conspicuously missing from Brenner’s preliminary list in The Washington Times of Republican senators who voted against cloture in the Senate cloture Friday.
More comments of condemnation on McConnel's Facebook page ensued.
Despite Cornyn’s promise -- and video evidence he posted himself on his own Facebook page -- just prior to Friday's vote that he "will vote to defund Obamacare" -- he didn't.
"You look like a man,"Candice Cantrell wrote, "but you have to balls. Liar."
After the vote, he posted an audio of his excuse.
It was not well received.
"Enjoy retirement mr cornyn because I suspect this is your last go round!" Rita Hawkins replied. "I know my vote will go elsewhere....too bad ur exempt from obamacare....everyone now knows what u think of the very voters who put u in office."
The other 530-plus posts expressed similar sentiments.
McCain’s name isn’t on the list either.
Of course, even though McCain might be too busy looking for another television show to care what Americans think, they are flocking to his Facebook page as well to tell him how they feel anyway.
Then again, Reid's Facebook page after the vote shows he's catching a bit of flack himself.
At 5:45 p.m. Friday, "Don't Fund It" had 1,892,126 signatures, 1,695 more than it had an hour ago.
Perhaps Reid and the Republican senators who "failed" to listen to Americans prior to Friday's vote -- and didn't defund Obamacare when they had the chance -- will "comprehend the magnitude" of that decision in 2014.