Dylan Scott is a reporter for Talking Points Memo. He previously reported for Governing magazine in Washington, D.C., and the Las Vegas Sun. His work has been recognized with a 2013 American Society of Business Publication Editors award for Best Feature Series and a 2010 Associated Press Society of Ohio award for Best Investigative Reporting. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"We as House Republicans should stop letting Ted Cruz set our agenda for us," King said on CNN. "He should stay in the Senate, keep quiet. If he can deliver on this, fine. If he can't, he should keep quiet from now on and we shouldn't listen to him."
King's remarks reflected a widely held sentiment among House Republicans about how Cruz and others have pressured the lower chamber to pass a government spending bill that defunds Obamacare. King told CNN that that strategy was still destined to fail.
"I would just say if anything good comes from all of this, when Ted Cruz and Rand Paul or Mike Lee fail in the Senate next week, maybe finally we Republicans will have ended their influence," King said.
Elsewhere, a House GOP aide told National Review Online that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi "is more well-liked" than Cruz.
The House approved Thursday a procedural vote for the government spending bill that would defund Obamacare.
The resolution, approved 228 to 189, suspends the House's rules for the spending bill and sets one hour of debate on the floor. House Speaker John Boehner told reporters Thursday that the bill would be brought up for a vote Friday.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said the House bill was "dead" in that chamber, and the White House has pledged to veto it.
House GOP leadership has been frustrated for weeks with Senate Republicans like Ted Cruz (R-TX) for putting the pressure on the lower chamber to defund Obamacare in exchange for funding the federal government. House leaders are convinced a government shutdown would be a political disaster for the Republican Party. But Cruz, Rand Paul, Mike Lee and others kept pressing, riling up the base for a shutdown showdown.
Now, with the House poised to pass the bill that Cruz and company wanted, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) had a message Thursday for his Senate comrades: Put up or shut up.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) suggested Thursday that he would stage a talking filibuster to block a Senate government spending bill that funds Obamacare.
"I will do everything necessary and anything possible to defund Obamacare," Cruz told reporters. When asked about a talking filibuster specifically, a la Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and drones, he said: "Yes, and anything else, any procedural means necessary."
The House will vote Friday on a spending bill that would defund the health care reform law. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Thursday that such a bill would be "dead" in that chamber.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), a leader in the defund-Obamacare push, thanked House Speaker John Boehner and the Republican caucus for "sticking their neck out" with a government spending bill that would strip funding for the law.
"I want to commend House conservatives for sticking their neck out. I want to commend Speaker Boehner for listening to the American people," Cruz reporters Thursday. "This is a tremendous victory for the American people."
Cruz's comments, delivered amid reports of frustration among House Republicans that Senate Republicans were conceding a loss for the bill in the Senate, came less than an hour after Boehner told reporters that the Senate GOP "should do everything they can" to defund Obamacare.
After a day of sniping between House and Senate Republicans over defunding Obamacare, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said he expects the Senate GOP to be ready for a fight.
"I expect my Senate colleagues to be up for the battle," Boehner told reporters.
The House will pass a government spending bill that defunds the health care reform law on Friday, Boehner said. Senate Democrats won't pass it, but Boehner urged Senate Republicans to use whatever means at their disposal to force a defunding measure through that chamber.
"The fight here has been won. The fight over there is just beginning," Boehner said. "I expect my Senate colleagues to do everything they can to stop this law. It's time for them to pick up the mantle and get the job done."
The House GOP leadership has been deeply irritated with Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Mike Lee (R-UT) for stoking anti-Obamcare sentiment among conservatives and increasing the pressure on the House to vote to defund Obamacare, even as the bill faced certain defeat in the Senate. Boehner's comments, like those reportedly coming from other House Republicans, reflects an effort to put the burden for what happens next firmly on Cruz and Lee.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) berated House Republicans Thursday for threatening not to lift the federal government's debt ceilling without concessions from the White House, saying such a move would wreak economic havoc.
"Republicans are determined to hold the full faith and credit of the United States hostage to their radical demands," Pelosi said. "This poses a cataclysmic danger to the stability of our markets and the economic security of our middle class."
Pelosi urged Speaker John Boehner to bring a clean debt limit bill to the House floor, promising Democratic support to pass it. "We will provide a huge number of votes," she said.
As expected, the Obama administration said Thursday that the president would veto a House government spending bill that would defund the Affordable Care Act.
"The Administration strongly opposes House passage of H.J. Res. 59, making continuing appropriations for fiscal year 2014 and for other purposes, because it advances a narrow ideological agenda that threatens our economy and the interests of the middle class," the administration said in an official policy statement. "The Resolution would defund the Affordable Care Act, denying millions of hard-working middle class families the security of affordable health coverage."
The House is expected to vote on the spending bill in the next few days.
A new online web series from an anti-Obamacare group takes conservative scare tactics to a whole new extreme.
One video, which almost plays like an mini-horror movie, portrays a young woman who has "signed up for Obamacare" and is visiting her gynecologist. As her real doctor leaves the room, leaving her in the stirrups, a person in an Uncle Sam mask pops up to take a look.
"Don't let the government play doctor," the ad warns. "Opt out of Obamacare."
Chris Moody at Yahoo! News first reported the series Thursday morning. Another video is targeted at young men, with Uncle Sam snapping on a surgical glove (see above) to perform what viewers are led to think will be a rectal exam.
The ad's sponsor, Generation Opportunity, is "a free-thinking, liberty-loving, national organization of young people," its website says. According to Yahoo! News, the group has financial ties to the billionaire Koch brothers. It will also be launching a television ad campaign and college campus tour this fall, expected to cost $750,000, to discourage young people from enrolling for health coverage through the Affordable Care Act.
The latest House Republican health care reform plan, unveiled Wednesday, with many of the party's favorite concepts, isn't going anywhere. The Senate won't pass it, and President Obama wouldn't sign it.
But if it did actually take the place of Obamacare, some experts say that it wouldn't do much to help America's poor and uninsured.