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Senate Starts Debate on CR with Reid vs. Cruz Showdown

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/Drew Angerer/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The battle over the continuing resolution (CR) has officially started in the Senate, and it kicked off with a Harry Reid vs. Ted Cruz showdown.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) filed a motion to proceed on the House-approved CR Monday afternoon and vowed to take out language, which would defund Obamacare, a movement backed by what Reid called “fanatics,” “anarchists,” and “radicals.”

“We’re not going to bow to Tea Party anarchists who deny the mere fact that Obamacare is the law,” Reid said on the Senate floor. “We will not bow to Tea Party anarchists who refuse to accept that the Supreme Court ruled that Obamacare is constitutional, and we will not bow to Tea Party anarchists in the House or in the Senate who ignore the fact that President Obama was overwhelmingly reelected a few months ago.”

“Obamacare is the law of the land and will remain the law of the land as long as Barack Obama is president of the United States and as long as I’m Senate majority leader,” Reid said.  “The latest gamble by Republicans in the House of Representatives made with the backing of their radical allies in the Senate only postpones the inevitable.”

Following his speech, Reid then asked for unanimous consent for confirmation on a series of nominations, but Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) immediately objected to the consideration for those nominees. 

The Senate went into a quorum call and was at a standstill while Reid and Cruz conferred on the Senate floor for several minutes. Nearly 30 minutes later, Cruz dropped his objection. 

Cruz’s objection had nothing to do with the continuing resolution, but it shows that he is willing to put up a fight throughout what will be a very long week on Capitol Hill. Cruz has threatened to use every procedural move possible, including an old fashioned filibuster, if Reid will not allow for a 60-vote threshold on any amendments to the CR. 

“Until Reid guarantees a 60-vote threshold on all amendments, a vote for cloture is a vote for Obamacare.  It would amount to giving the Democrats a green light to fund Obamacare with 51 votes,” Cruz wrote in an op-ed Monday.

As he left the Senate chamber, Cruz refused to comment on what procedural maneuvers he’s planning on invoking this week to keep the Senate from taking out the defunding language from the CR.

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