In the wake of Senator Ted Cruz’s (R., Texas) marathon speech, Republicans are still searching for unity in the fight against Obamacare.
Several aides note that Cruz devoted a considerable portion of his 21-hour talkathon to attacking Republicans for failing to support his strategy, which might explain why more of his Senate colleagues did not join him on the Senate floor. It remains to be seen what the net effect of Cruz’s efforts will be on the debate in Congress, but some Republicans are worried that Cruz and the defunding movement will continue to train their fire on GOP lawmakers and accuse them of supporting Obamacare, an outcome that ”will not be well recieved” within the party, according to one senior aide. “There is pretty broad consensus in the party that, when it comes to Obamacare, we are winning,” the aide said. “The goal should be to remain united and hope to get some Democrats to flip.”
All eyes will soon turn to the House, where leadership is reportedly mulling a short-term continuing resolution, perhaps in an effort to buy time and assess the political situation. GOP aides report a heavy influx of phone calls to their offices urging lawmakers to stand with Cruz, but say it is too early to predict how this grassroots momentum could impact the next step in the negotiating process. “It doesn’t change the underlying dynamics,” another GOP aide of Cruz’s speech. “It was impressive and good theater, but we’re not any closer to defunding Obamacare, and time is a factor.”