Exclusive–Source: McConnell, Cornyn Whipping Votes Against Ted Cruz
by Matthew Boyle 23 Sep 2013
A source in Congress tells Breitbart News that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn are using their leadership positions to pressure other Republicans to oppose Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) in his campaign to defund Obamacare.
"Right now in the Senate, Mitch McConnell and John Cornyn are actively whipping Senators to shut down debate on the House continuing resolution so that Harry Reid can gut it with just 51 votes,” a senior congressional staffer with intimate knowledge of the situation said in an email to Breitbart News. “Unbelievably, they actually are leading the fight to fully fund Obamacare.”
McConnell and Cornyn stated earlier Monday that they oppose a possible filibuster from Cruz to keep Reid from adding language funding the Affordable Care Act to the continuing resolution passed by the House of Representatives.
As Breitbart News reported on Saturday, McConnell and Cornyn could help Cruz win:
First, when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid brings the House continuing resolution (CR) to the floor next week, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell needs to deliver 41 Republican votes to filibuster it until Senator Reid agrees not to try and restore funding for Obamacare. McConnell has the power to ensure that Reid cannot get an amendment onto the bill that strips the Obamacare defunding language with a simple majority vote. As Breitbart News laid out on Friday, McConnell has closed down one pathway that Reid could use:
If [Reid] introduces an amendment before the Senate votes on cloture for the House CR[, t]hat would require a 60-vote threshold, and McConnell’s spokesman Don Stewart told Breitbart News that if Reid attempted that tactic, all Senate Republicans would stand together to block it.
However, a major avenue is still open through which Reid can get the amendment onto the bill with a simple majority. If McConnell decides Obamacare is worth fighting in earnest on must-pass legislation (ie non-symbolic votes), then he will deliver the 41 necessary votes to filibuster until Reid is forced to agree to a clean up-or-down Senate floor vote on the Obamacare defunding CR the House just passed. There is something McConnell can do using his power that could accomplish this: Filibuster the House CR until there is a unanimous consent agreement that any amendments added to it after cloture is invoked would also each require a 60-vote threshold. The power rests now with McConnell. Delivering the 41 votes is essential to help Ted Cruz.
Instead of helping Cruz with their power as Senate GOP leaders, McConnell and Cornyn are working against him, this senior staffer said. But in the end, they will try to make it appear as though they do not support funding Obamacare by voting against Reid’s amendment after allowing Reid to implement it. “Once it's a 51-vote threshold, both McConnell and Cornyn will hide behind a 'no' vote on Reid's amendment—so they will have yet another show vote,” the staffer said.
“To be clear, nobody is fighting harder to make sure Obamacare is funded than Mitch McConnell and John Cornyn,” the senior staffer added.