EXCLUSIVE - RUBIO STANDS WITH CRUZ AGAINST MCCONNELL/REID ON OBAMACARE DEFUNDINGHere's what makes this entertaining in a rubbernecking sort of way: Senator Ted Cruz is asking Senator Marco Rubio and other Republicans to filibuster the House's bill defunding Obamacare because without a filibuster, the Senate will be able to amend the bill, stripping out the defund language, changing spending levels, and sending it back to the House.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) on Tuesday told Breitbart News that he will buck McConnell, Cornyn and Reid, and supports the position of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX). Rubio made the remarks in response to the news that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn are whipping GOP votes on the Continuing Resolution (CR) in such a way that would allow Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to fund Obamacare.
Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn are saying they will vote against filibustering the House bill as a way of expressing their support for defunding Obamacare, even though doing so will, as Cruz says, allow the Senate to strip the defund language from the bill.
Basically, both sides here are full of it, just in different ways. McConnell and Cornyn are full of it when they claim that voting against a filibuster of the House legislation is actually a demonstration of support for defunding Obamacare, and Cruz and his buddies are full of it when they say that their strategy to defund Obamacare has nothing to do with shutting down the government.
On the one hand, voting for Cruz's filibuster is the only way to stop the Senate from passing legislation to fund the government without defunding Obamacare, so if you really want to defund Obamacare more than anything else in the world, that's the only way to vote. On the other hand, if you vote to filibuster the House legislation from coming to the floor, you are voting for a shutdown, because unless the House legislation comes to the floor, the Senate can't pass anything to keep the government open.
As every good teapartier knows, the Constitution requires spending and revenue bills to originate in the House. That means filibustering this legislation is as much about forcing a shutdown as it is defunding Obamacare. It's a thin claim, but House Republicans can claim that they voted to prevent a government shutdown while defunding Obamacare; the vote Cruz is trying to rally his buddies behind is a vote to force a shutdown to prevent the Senate from removing the House's language to defund Obamacare.
It's a dumb position for Cruz to take, and Senate Republicans appear to be rejecting it overwhelmingly, but as 2016 approaches, let's not forget Marco Rubio's decision, because when Ted Cruz came to him and asked him to jump, Rubio's only question was: "How high?"