Politics

RNC chairman backs Cruz in party-splitting Obamacare battle

Photo of Patrick Howley
Patrick Howley
Political Reporter

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus backed Sen. Ted Cruz’s anti-Obamacare quasi-filibuster Tuesday, possibly sending a message to senior GOP leaders who are criticizing Cruz’s tactics in defunding Obamacare.

Cruz is speaking against Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid’s plans to hold a vote on a stopgap continuing budget resolution Wednesday, where Reid is expected to strip out language from the House version of the budget resolution that defunds Obamacare. Cruz doesn’t want the vote to happen until Obamacare is definitively defunded — without Reid’s expected changes.

“In a fight between Harry Reid and Ted Cruz, I will stand with Ted Cruz any day,” Priebus wrote in an email Tuesday headlined “I stand with Ted.” ”Today, Senator Cruz has taken the fight to defund ObamaCare to the Senate floor. I hope you will join me in standing with him in solidarity.”

“As Republicans,” Priebus continued, “we must remain true to our principles and fight to protect the American people from this reckless law.”

Priebus’ endorsement of Cruz is especially notable, considering that Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said that he does not support Cruz’s attempt to block a vote on the House bill, which Cruz is pushing for because of Reid’s expected changes to it. Republican Sens. John Cornyn and Lindsey Graham have also come out in opposition to Cruz’s effort to block a vote on the bill.

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