Cruz added that, despite speculation in the media, Republican leadership never asked if he intended to delay the vote. But the freshman senator, who's spent months leading the effort to defund or delay the health care law, was also defiant. He blasted the Senate for the vote while applauding the House of Representatives, where the defunding effort was advocated by many conservative members.
"Now I want to commend the House of Representatives, the House of Representatives has taken a bold stance listening to the American people, but unfortunately, the United States Senate has refused to do likewise," Cruz said. "The United States Senate has stayed with the traditional approach of the Washington establishment of maintaining the status quo and doing nothing to respond to the suffering that Obamacare is causing millions of Americans."
"This fight, this debate will continue until, collectively, the American people can make D.C. listen," he added.
Later, Cruz directed his criticism at Republicans in the Senate.
"Unfortunately, the Senate chose not to follow the House and in particular, we saw real division among Senate Republicans. That was unfortunate," he said. "I would point out that had Senate Republicans united and supported House Republicans, the outcome of this, I believe, would have been very, very different. I wish that had happened, but it did not."
Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), who stood side-by-side with Cruz in the defunding effort, also said Wednesday that he won't delay a vote on the Senate deal:
BREAKING: Sen. Mike Lee indicates he won't hold up Senate deal. "I don't have a problem with collapsing time" once he reads bill.— Kasie Hunt (@kasie) October 16, 2013
This post has been updated.