Sen. Ted Cruz's Obamacare plans divide DC leaders

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - In the nation's capital, there is continued talk about a possible government shutdown as one of the Republican Party's hottest names took center stage.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz took to the Senate floor Tuesday afternoon to deliver a pseudo-filibuster before the legislative body plans to vote on the House's continuing resolution to fund the government until Dec. 15.

Cruz says he will speak on the floor until he's no longer able to stand. He started shortly after 2:30 p.m. and is still going.

Cruz was one of his party's rising stars when he appeared at the South Carolina GOP's annual convention in May.

But the freshman senator has really pushed himself into the spotlight this week.
His extended speaking engagement on the Senate floor is an effort aimed at blocking Democrats from stripping the House-passed continuing resolution of language cutting funding for the President's healthcare reform law.

It's a a bold move and part of a fight that under some circumstances could lead to a government shutdown.

But even House republicans like South Carolina's Joe Wilson say shutting down the government is not what they want.

"It needs to be avoided," said Wilson. "And that's why I'm going back to Washington today. I will be voting tomorrow. I will be available whenever the senate acts, the house is ready to act. We should be avoiding a government shutdown. The House has acted. There should not be a shutdown."

Cruz's tactic has drawn criticism from many in his own party as well as Democrats. Many are trying to figure out why Cruz would push for action that can't survive the democratically controlled Senate, much less a presidential veto.

Congressman Jim Clyburn was also in Columbia shortly before the senator took his stand in Washington.

"Those people who wish to run for national office next time around feel that they have to have a certain record to go into a Republican primary with," said Clyburn.

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