Sen. Ted Cruz’s ‘Filibuster’ Against Obamacare Ends After 21 Hours

Sen. Ted Cruz’s “filibuster” against Obamacare ended on Wednesday after 21 hours and 19 minutes.

The freshman senator was forced to cede the floor at noon after he ran up against a deadline imposed by the Senate’s procedural rules.

An hour after Cruz’s speech ended, the Senate voted to halt the first filibuster hurdle to its own version of the bill aimed at funding the government for the next year.

The Washington Post reports that both bodies of Congress must reach an agreement on funding legislation by Monday night. If they don’t, most federal agencies will be closed on Tuesday.

It certainly isn’t the first showdown over the yearly funding bill, and it likely won’t be the last. Sen. Ted Cruz’s filibuster highlighted this year’s main dispute — the Affordable Care Act. Cruz and several other Tea Party favorites have been pushing a bill that funds the government and defunds the healthcare legislation at the same time.

While Cruz’s marathon speech will go down as one of the longest in Congress’ history, it likely won’t change the Senate’s decision to change the funding bill the passed by the House last week. The bill accomplishes Cruz’s goal.

NBC News notes that Ted Cruz stood for the whole 21 hours and 19 minutes he had the Senate floor. He occasionally paced to stretch his legs and only ate small snacks through the night.

While Cruz’s speech was a marathon in its own right, it didn’t do anything to stall the scheduled vote on whether the Senate should take up the legislation passed by the House. While defunding Obamacare was the Republican senator’s main goal, he sometimes strayed from the topic at hand.

Ted Cruz revealed his love for White Castle, read Dr. Seuss’s Green Eggs and Ham, and talked about Star Wars. He also occasionally yielded the floor to one of his Republican colleagues for a question. Despite his marathon filibuster, Ted Cruz may not be able to keep the Senate from removing the bill’s clause that removes funding from the Affordable Care Act.

[Image via Christopher Halloran /]