Republican divisions over tactics spilled into the open Thursday when Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) took on Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) on the Senate floor.
The sparring came shortly after Cruz and Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) objected to a unanimous consent request by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) to move up Friday’s cloture vote on the continuing resolution to Thursday evening. Cruz argued that letting the bill move forward is a vote to fund Obamacare.
“I think the senator from Texas may be confused,” Corker said, pointing out that the vote is merely to move forward with a House-passed bill that defunds Obamacare, while a vote on the amendment to restore the funds comes afterward.
“It’s my understanding that the reason that we’re putting this off is because they would like for people around the country that they have notified to be able to watch,” he said.
Cruz held his ground, insisting that the cloture vote would faciliate Reid’s efforts to add the Obamacare funds.
“We are not going to be complicit in giving Harry Reid the ability to fund Obamacare,” he said.
Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) accused Cruz and Lee of putting publicity over the interests of the United States, warning of the adverse economic consequences of a government shutdown.
“We’re delaying our actions here for a full day so they can get adequate publicity for what they’re going to do,” he said. “It’s an unconscionable breach of faith.”