Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., will gain passage today of a motion enabling him to fund Obamacare fully. Everybody knows that. What is less clear is how many Republicans will vote with him to do it.
Put a Corker in it
Moderate Republicans like Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., are not happy with Sen. Ted Cruz's, R-Texas, efforts to highlight the vote on the motion to end debate on the continuing resolution.
"Is it more important to the senator from Texas and the senator from Utah that the people around the country watch this vote, or is it more important to us that we have a good policy outcome from our standpoint and actually have a body that has a majority of Republicans to be able to react and send back something of good policy?" Corker said from the Senate floor Thursday, after Cruz objected to a motion to have the vote last night.
"Sen. Corker effectively became a Democrat just now on the Senate floor," Club for Growth President Andy Roth tweeted in response. Recent history suggests Roth's observation wasn't merely hyperbole.
The TARP of 2014
Corker is right about one thing: Cruz and his allies do want to publicize Friday's vote on the motion to end debate on the CR. They want what happens in Washington to be as clear and transparent as possible.
They believe this vote will become a dividing line within the Republican party in much the same way the 2008 vote on the Troubled Asset Relief Program was. Sen. Mike Lee's, R-Utah, predecessor, Sen. Bennett, R-Utah, lost his seat because of that vote. Republicans who vote with Reid, and against Cruz today, are risking a similar outcome.
Cruz has already won long-term
But no matter what happens today, Cruz has already won the debate. It is abundantly clear which way the Republican party is headed. Moderate Republicans like Sens. Corker, John McCain, R-Ariz., Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, who are willing to cave to Democrats on key issues are not the future of the Republican party. Sens. Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, Rand Paul, R-Ky., and Marco Rubio, R-Fl., are.
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