As a government shut down looms, Congress remains divided over legislation that would continue funds to the government after the fiscal year ends on September 30, The Los Angeles Times reported on Sunday.
Last week, the House of Representatives passed a spending bill containing a provision that would defund Obamacare. The bill is now awaiting debate in the U.S. Senate, but some Republicans, like Senator Ted Cruz, have vowed to block the bill, even it means a shutdown of many government services. Cruz announced on Sunday that he will try and use a filibuster this week to block the legislation unless Democrats agree to cut funding for Obama's health care law.
If Cruz is to succeed in his filibustering attempts, he will need at least 40 other senators to join him. During an appearance on "Fox News Sunday," Cruz called for all 46 Republican members of the U.S. Senate to unite.
I believe we should stand our ground. This has been a fast-moving target. you know, just a few weeks ago we didn't have anywhere near the votes we needed in the House or in the Senate. It's now our turn to unify, to stand together with House Republicans."
House Republicans have made stopping the Affordable Health Care Act their top priority before the fiscal year ends. Republicans are concerned that the Democratic controlled Senate will easily have the 51 votes needed to remove the health care provision from the bill. Cruz is pushing fellow Republican senators to not let the bill advance to the stage by implementing a filibuster.
Cruz's hope for a filibustering attempt is drawing criticism from both Democrats and Republicans. If the bill cannot be approved in the Senate, it will lead to a government shutdown. Republican Representative Tom Graves has said that members of his party are
united around a very simple goal, and that is keeping the government open while protecting our constituents from the harmful effects of Obamacare."
Politicians on both sides of the issue are hoping that a a government shutdown won't happen, but it very likely could if Cruz gets the support he needs in the Senate.