Turns out there is a way for conservatives to filibuster Majority Leader Harry Reid's, D-Nev., plan to fund Obamacare.
Critics of the effort to defund Obamacare insisted earlier this week that there was no way Senate conservatives would be given an opportunity to filibuster Senate Democrat efforts to strip Obamacare defunding language from the House continuing resolution passed Friday.
But it appears they are wrong.
Senate rules do allow Reid to file for cloture on the CR, thus ending debate on a bill, before any amendments are actually voted on. And Reid has signaled he will file an amendment to strip the defunding language from the CR before the Senate votes on cloture (which requires 60 votes).
If that cloture vote succeeds, then Reid can pass any amendment he wants, including one restoring Obamacare funding, by simple majority. Final passage of the bill would also only require a simple majority vote.
But Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, announced Friday, that he will attempt to filibuster that cloture vote. "If Reid pursues this plan - if he insists on using a 50-vote threshold to fund Obamacare with a partisan vote of only Democrats - then I hope that every Senate Republican will stand together and oppose cloture on the bill in order to keep the House bill intact and not let Harry Reid add Obamacare funding back in," Cruz told reporters Friday.
Cruz's Chief of Staff Chip Roy elaborated on Cruz's strategy on twitter later Friday, "Harry Reid plans to strip defunding from House-passed CR. Senate R's must, therefore, oppose cloture on bill in order to protect House CR."
Democrats control 54 seats in the Senate. It is entirely unclear if Cruz can stop 6 Republican senators from crossing the aisle and voting for Reid's motion to functionally fund Obamacare.