WASHINGTON — Texas Sen. Ted Cruz — who has led the fight against President Obama’s health-care law — said Wednesday that he will vote against the last minute fiscal deal brokered by Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell because it doesn’t do anything to protect people from Obamacare.
“The Washington establishment has cut a deal,” Cruz lamented during a gaggle with reporters as he left a meeting of Republican senators on Wednesday.
“The focus is and should be on the substance of providing real relief for the American people,” the Republican said. “This deal doesn’t do that, and that’s why I intend to vote no.”
With just hours before the Thursday deadline to increase the country’s debt limit, the Senate is poised to vote on a plan brokered by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell that would re-open the government and prevent the country from defaulting.
A Senate source confirmed to The Daily Caller that the deal would extend the debt limit until Feb. 7 and re-open the government until Jan. 15 at sequester levels. It would include new income verification measures for those receiving Obamacare subsidies, though none of the other changes to Obamacare pushed by conservatives.
The Associated Press described the deal this way: “In political terms, the final agreement was almost entirely along lines Obama had set when the impasse began last month.”
While Cruz is against the deal, he said he won’t take any steps to block the vote. “Delaying this vote would not accomplish anything,” he said.
“It does nothing for all of the young people who can’t find jobs because of Obamacare,” Cruz said of the deal. “It does nothing for all the single parents who are being forced into part-time work because of Obamacare. It does nothing for all the seniors and people with disabilities who are losing their health-care right now because of Obamacare.”
“No one should be surprised that this is the response of the Washington establishment,” Cruz said.
He added: “The American people rose up, and spoke with an overwhelming voice. And at least at this stage, Washington isn’t listening to them. The House listened, but the Senate has not. That is unfortunate, but this battle will continue to provide real relief for the millions of Americans who are hurting who right now still don’t have a voice in the United States Senate.”
McConnell announced the deal from the floor of the Senate on Wednesday. “This is far less than many of us had hoped for,” McConnell said. “But it’s far better than what some had sought.”
“Throughout this debate, the public has been rightly focused on Obamacare — for good reason,” the Republican leader added. “This law is ravaging our economy, killing jobs, driving up premiums, and driving people off the health care plans they have and like, in droves. Its disastrous rollout is sign of even worse things to come. And the Democrat refusal to delay it reflects a stubborn ideological obsession that will do untold damage to our country.”
Added McConnell: “Now it’s time for Republicans to unite behind our other crucial goals.”
But conservative groups, including the Tea Party Patriots, are urging Republicans to vote down the deal.
“The Ruling Elites in Washington, D.C. have completely abandoned the American people,” said Jenny Beth Martin, the national coordinator for Tea Party Patriots. “The deal cut in the Senate does NOT protect the American people from this unfair and unworkable law.”
“The Senate deal is a complete sellout,” Martin said. “Speaker Boehner and the House should stand firm and reject this deal to rein in the Executive branch’s power before it is too late.”