Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) was still speaking Wednesday morning as his marathon effort to block funding for the health care law passed its 20th hour.
Cruz took the floor at 2:41 p.m. ET on Tuesday, vowing to speak until he is “no longer able to stand.” Over the course of his more than 20 hours on the floor, Cruz likened his doubters to Nazi appeasers and read the beloved Dr. Seuss classic “Green Eggs and Ham.”
But under Senate rules, Cruz’s lengthy speech is not actually a filibuster. In fact, the junior senator from Texas even negotiated the terms of his speech ahead of time with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV).
At around the 14-hour mark, Cruz, wearing black tennis shoes, complained that his feet had started to hurt.
“I will say standing here after 14 hours, standing on your feet, there’s sometimes some pain, sometimes some fatigue that is involved,” Cruz said, according to ABC News. “But you know what? There’s far more pain involved in rolling over…far more pain in hiding in the shadows, far more pain in not standing for principle, not standing for the good, not standing for integrity.”
Shortly after 6 a.m. ET on Wednesday, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) was providing back-up to Cruz with a floor speech of his own. Along with Rubio and Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), Cruz has been joined by a handful of his other Republican colleagues: Sens. David Vitter (LA), Rand Paul (KY), Pat Roberts (KS), Jeff Sessions (AL) and Mike Enzi (WY).
Rubio’s speech ended around 7 a.m. ET as the protest eclipsed 16 hours. Cruz thanked Rubio for joining him before yielding back to the Florida senator minutes later.
Shortly before 8 a.m. ET, 17 hours after Cruz started, he yielded to Roberts.
“How are you doing?” Roberts asked.
“I thank the senator from Kansas and I will tell you I am doing fabulous,” Cruz said. “I am encouraged, I am inspired, I am motivated by the American people right now.”
Paul took over shortly before the gang of senators crossed that 18-hour mark. After 9 a.m. ET, as Cruz and his allies approached the 19th hour, Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) began speaking.
Watch Cruz and his GOP colleagues here.
This post has been updated.