Senator Ted Cruz and the rest of his “defund” crew have consistently said that a vote for cloture on the House-passed spending bill is akin to a vote for Obamacare. But unfortunately for them, the much-anticipated votes are in and the news isn’t great. As it happens, the Senate voted, 79-19, to end debate on the spending bill all but guaranteeing that the provision explicitly defunding Obamacare will be stripped -- and the amended bill eventually kicked back to the House of Representatives.
Twitchy breaks down what just happened in simplistic and easy-to-understand terms:
There were many Republicans in the Senate who voted “yes” on the continuing resolution, which is essentially a vote against defunding Obamacare. Exceeding 60 votes means there will be no more debate on the spending bill.
Having gotten the 60 votes means that Harry Reid will now only need a simple majority of votes in order to put the funding for Obamacare back into the spending bill.
In other words, Obamacare won’t be defunded. Stay tuned for updates.
UPDATE: Senator Cruz released the following statement:
"Today's vote by Sen. Harry Reid and the Senate Democrats to fully fund Obamacare was yet the latest example of Washington not listening to the people.
"Obamacare is a 'train wreck,' a 'nightmare,' to use the words of its Democratic author and a union leader who previously supported the bill. It is the biggest job killer in America.
"As Teamsters President James Hoffa explained in a letter to Sen. Harry Reid and Rep. Nancy Pelosi, Obamacare is hurting 'millions of working men and women ... and the families they support,' and it 'will destroy the very health and wellbeing of our members along with millions of other hardworking Americans.'
"Senate Democrats refused to listen.
"President Obama has granted exemptions for big business and Members of Congress, but Senate Democrats refuse to grant the American people the same exemption. Instead, they used political power to maintain their privileged position while doing nothing to respond to the pleas of millions of Americans.
"But this fight continues. Now the bill returns to the House. The House showed remarkable courage voting to defund Obamacare, and I hope and believe that the House will stand by their resolve and continue to lead the effort to stop the Obamacare train wreck.
"Obamacare is killing jobs, forcing people into part-time work, causing health insurance premiums to skyrocket, and threatening the healthcare of millions of Americans.
"Today, far too many Republicans joined Harry Reid in giving the Democrats the ability to fund Obamacare. When the bill comes back to the Senate, when the House yet again stands for principle and fights for the American people, I very much hope that Senate Republicans will rise to the challenge. We are stronger when we are united, and we can defeat Obamacare only if Senate Republicans come together, stand with House Republicans, and champion the millions of Americans being harmed by this disastrous healthcare law."
UPDATE: Here are the 19 Senators who voted no:
19: Vitter,Paul,Lee,Cruz,Crapo,Enzi,Fischer,Roberts,Scott,Heller,Grassley,Toomey,Moran, Rubio, Shelby,Risch,Inhofe, Portman, Sessions— Byron York (@ByronYork) September 27, 2013
UPDATE: In a subsequent vote, every single Democrat in the Senate voted to strip language from the bill defunding Obamacare. The vote was 54-44, according to Politico, and the House of Representatives is now expected to debate the measure as early as tomorrow. Question: Red State Dems up for re-election are really rollin' the dice on this one, huh?
UPDATE: The final vote that officially sent the bill back to the House of Representatives was also 54-44.