GOP Senators Shun Senators Cruz and Lee Fri 9/27 PMSubmitted by barracuda_trader on Fri, 09/27/2013 - 23:14
Fellow Republicans skip encore of Cruz-Lee show
WASHINGTON (AP) — Some tried yelling. Others tried shaming. But by the time tea party freshmen Sens. Ted Cruz and Mike Lee spoke on the chamber floor again Friday, other Republican senators had settled on ignoring them.
Zero GOP senators showed up to support the pair's encore to Cruz's 21-hour filibuster — a 30-minute appeal to prohibit the Senate from voting on whether to defund President Barack Obama's health care law and keep the government open. Only one Democrat attended, Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island, to make sure there wasn't any procedural funny business from the newcomers whose orations had become a tea party infomercial.
Only 17 of the GOP's other 44 senators joined Cruz and Lee in trying to stop the Senate. Later, Senate Democrats used their majority to strip the "Obamacare" language from a temporary spending bill, pass a new version of it and send it to the Republican-controlled House.
Thus ended another episode of congressional reality TV, a narrative in which breakout stars Cruz and Lee claimed to represent regular Americans standing up to the political establishment.
The real reality: Their performance was evidence of a fierce battle for control of the Republican Party, and one with high stakes. If Congress doesn't agree on a budget by midnight Monday, the government shuts down. That could mean terrible consequences for millions of Americans and the economy.
"Knock it off," Obama suggested Friday, as the action moved from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's turf back to the House.