Minutes ago, Sen. Mitch McConnell's spokesman Don Stewart sent a statement saying the Senate Minority Leader will not join an effort led by Republican Sens. Ted Cruz and Mike Lee to filibuster a House-passed continuing resolution that also defunds Obamacare. "Sen. McConnell supports the House Republicans' bill and will not vote to block it," Stewart said, "since it defunds Obamacare and funds the government without increasing spending by a penny."
Stewart added that McConnell "will also vote against any amendment that attempts to add Obamacare funding back into the House Republicans' bill. If and when the Majority Leader goes down that path, Washington Democrats will have to decide — without hiding behind a procedural vote — whether or not to split with their leadership and join Republicans and their constituents in opposing the re-insertion of Obamacare funding into the House-passed bill."
McConnell's decision is another major blow to the Cruz-Lee strategy. Earlier Monday, Sen. John Cornyn, the second-ranking Republican in the Senate, said that he, too, would not support the filibuster scheme. Both McConnell and Cornyn oppose Obamacare, and also support defunding Obamacare. But the Cruz-Lee scenario — in which Senate Republicans would filibuster a bill they asked the House to pass, setting up the possibility of a government shutdown by next week —will not have their support.