Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, is going to be talking until he turns blue in the face, and every word he utters can be watched through live stream footage. The senator promised to speak until he can no longer stand, but don’t call it a filibuster. Cruz wants to “make D.C. listen.” The Epoch Times reported that he said he would speak until he "can't stand."
The senator can speak until Wednesday morning, but it’s technically not a filibuster because he won’t stop the upper chamber from proceeding with a vote on the House continuing resolution to keep the government running after Oct. 1. Instead, Cruz’s very long speech will be symbolic, and though the voting won’t be stopped, he will definitely bring attention to himself.
"Washington depends on the American people not paying attention,” the National Journal quoted Cruz as saying on Tuesday. Like most Republicans, he wants to defund Obamacare, but even many Senate Republicans disagree with his tactics. If Congress does not come to an agreement, the government will shut down at the end of September.
While on the floor, Cruz said he is fighting against Obamacare to insure “that the American people have a voice.” He added that his fight is “insuring that those who are struggling, those who are without a job, those who are afraid about losing their health insurance, that Washington listens to them. That Washington acts on their needs.”
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Cruz has been using Twitter, too, to get himself heard. “Stop the Senate from using procedural tricks to fund Obamacare,” he wrote on Tuesday. “Call your Senators and #MakeDCListen: http://www.makedclisten.org.” The social media site has begun to pick up on the non-filibuster, and #TedCruz, #MakeDCListen, #StandWithCruz and #DefundObamacare are all trending.
The Texas senator isn’t the only one to give a quasi-filibuster. The National Journal notes that independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont took the Senate floor in 2010 where he spoke for hours, and his efforts were later made into a book. More recently, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., spoke for several hours to warn of the dangers of drones targeting U.S. citizens.