Transcript: Sen. Ted Cruz’s press briefing remarks on the bipartisan deal to avert default & re-open the government – Oct. 16, 2013

Partial transcript of Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-Texas) press briefing remarks on the bipartisan deal to avert default and re-open the government on Oct. 16, 2013:

Unfortunately, once again it appears the Washington establishment is refusing to listen to the American people.

The deal that has been cut provides no relief to the millions of Americans who are hurting because of Obamacare.

The deal that has been cut provides no relief to all the young people coming out of school, who can’t find a job because of Obamacare.

It provides no relief to all the single parents who have been forced into part-time work, struggling to feed their kids at 29 hours a week.

It provides no relief to all the hardworking families who are facing skyrocketing health insurance premiums.

And it provides no relief to all the seniors, to all the people with disabilities, who are right now getting in the mail notifications from their health insurance that they’re losing their health insurance because of Obamacare.

It is unfortunate that Washington is not listening to the people.

Now, I want to commend the House of Representatives. The House of Representatives has taken a bold stance, listening to the American people.

But unfortunately, the United States Senate has refused to do likewise. The United States Senate has stayed with the traditional approach of the Washington establishment of maintaining the status quo and doing nothing to respond to the suffering that Obamacare is causing millions of Americans. This is unfortunate but nobody should be surprised that the Washington establishment is pushing back. Nobody should be surprised that the resistance to change.

Let me say, the American people in the last few months have risen up in overwhelming numbers. We have seen millions of Americans all over this country working to change Washington. That has been incredible progress, and this fight – this debate – will continue until collectively the American people can make D.C. listen, can get real relief for all of the people who are hurt because of Obamacare.

You want to know what this fight is about? It’s about one thing. It’s about all of the people across this country who are right now facing terrifying decisions because they’re losing their health care, they’re losing their jobs, they’re being left in the cold. And sad that the United States Senate has said Washington will do nothing. It has created the problem that you’re facing but Washington will do nothing to address the suffering that you’re feeling. That is unfortunate. But this debate – this fight – will continue in the months ahead.

Number one, will you filibuster? The second part is if you’re not going to filibuster, will you take a significant amount of time through filibuster [inaudible]…?

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas):
There have been many questions about the timing of this vote. The timing of this vote – it’s my understanding from leadership – is likely to occur today. I have no objections to the timing of this vote. And the reason is simple: There is nothing to be gained from delaying this vote one day or two days. The outcome would be the same.

Every Senator, every member of the House is going to have to make a decision where he or she stands.

But there’s no benefit – I’ve never had any intention of delaying the timing of this vote. And indeed, I thought it was interesting reading in the papers that much speculation about whether we might delay the timing of the vote. Republican leadership never asked if I intended to delay the timing of the vote.

My focus is on the substance. My focus is – I think where the American people’s focus is – which is what are we doing to provide real relief to people who are hurting because of Obamacare?

And unfortunately, today the answer is the United States Senate and the Washington establishment is doing nothing to provide relief for the millions of people who are hurting.

…As you well know, you have a lot of fellow Republicans really downright angry at you because here we are almost three weeks later, the strategy that you started out on to de-fund Obamacare as part of funding the government, they never thought it was going to work because the votes aren’t there. And here we are re-opening the government after a lot of bruising political warfare internally and you got nothing for it.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas):
Well, respectfully, I disagree with the premise of that. I think we have seen a remarkable thing happen. Months ago when the effort to defund Obamacare began, official Washington scoffed. They scoffed at the American people who would rise up. They scoffed that the House of Representatives would do anything. And they scooted that the Senate would do anything.

We saw, first of all, millions upon millions of Americans rise up all over this country. Over 2 million people signing a national petition to de-fund Obamacare.

We saw the House of Representatives taking courageous stand listening to the American people that everyone in official Washington just weeks earlier said would never happen. That was a remarkable victory to see the House engage in a profile in courage.

Unfortunately, the Senate chose not to follow the House, and in particular we saw real division among Senate Republicans. That was unfortunate. I would point out that had Senate Republicans united and supported House Republicans, the outcome of this, I believe, would have been very, very different. I wish that it happened. But it did not.

But it does give a path going forward that if the American people continue to rise up, I believe the House will continue to listen to the American people and I hope in time the Senate begins to listen to the American people also.

Because, look, lots of people in Washington love to focus on the politics, and it is unfortunately the game of this town. But what matters more than any politicians in Washington is all of the people across this country who are hurting right now, who are getting in the mail a notification that the health care they’re relying on for their care and for their parents’ care, for their children’s care, that it’s being canceled because of Obamacare.

President Obama promised the American people Obamacare would lower your health insurance premiums. I would venture to say virtually every person across this country has seen exactly the opposite happening, has seen premiums going up and up and up, and everyone who clicks on Obamacare and sees the premiums, sees the premiums going up and up and up.

President Obama promised the American people that if you like your health insurance, you can keep it. We now know that statement was flat-out categorically false. People all over this country are losing their health insurance. 15,000 UPS employees got a notification in the mail that they were losing spousal coverage, that their husbands and wives were all losing the health insurance that they wanted and that they liked. That is happening all over the country. It’s wrong.

And the focus, in my view, should not be on the politics of Washington. The politics of Washington at the end of the day doesn’t matter. What the focus should be is on making Washington D.C. listen to the American people and respond to the very real harms that Obamacare is causing to millions of people.

Thank you very much.


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