Texas Senator Ted Cruz took the U.S. Senate floor at 2:40 pm ET and claimed he will speak “until I am no longer able to stand.” Cruz’s speech is in regards to the Affordable Care Act (more commonly known as Obamacare), the new health care legislation that has divided Republicans and Democrats in Congress. Many Congressmen are hoping to defund the Affordable Care Act, a stance that threatens to shut down the government if budget issues are not resolved.
“I rise today in opposition to Obamacare,” Cruz began his speech, which has lasted for several hours.
Several Congressmen have made news headlines recently by carrying out filibusters, or talking at length in order to stop lawmakers from voting on a specific piece of legislation. Cruz’s speech, however, will not be able to stop lawmakers from voting on the budget bill tomorrow.
A Senate Aide speaking to Business Insider explained that Cruz’s speech would have no effect on the Senate’s vote on the House Continuing Resolution tomorrow. “This is not a filibuster. Since cloture has been filed, the cloture vote will occur tomorrow no matter how long Senator Cruz speaks. This is not anything tricky, just basic Senate rules,” the Senate Aide said.
Still, Cruz’s speech is likely to be effective in drawing attention to the importance of the Affordable Care Act in the government’s budget deliberations. Cruz’s speech is being streamed live online, as he continues to read directly from a binder filled with numerous pages. It appears as if he intends to stay true to his word.