By Abby D. Phillip
It’s the question on everyone’s minds: could the country be pushed to the brink of another shutdown when government funding runs out in January?
Sen. Ted Cruz, the Texas Republican who pushed the strategy to tie government funding to defunding President Obama’s health care law, wouldn’t rule out revisiting it in the coming months.
“I would do anything, and I will continue to do anything I can, to stop the train wreck that is Obamacare,” Cruz said when asked by ABC News’ Jon Karl whether he would rule out another shutdown. “The test that matters Jon, is are we doing anything for all the people that are getting hurt from Obamacare?”
A bipartisan agreement signed by Obama last night would only re-open the government until Jan. 15, opening the door to a replay of the 16-day government shutdown that brought federal services and Congress largely to a standstill.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who helped broker that deal, made it clear today that he would not entertain a second government shutdown.
“One of my favorite old Kentucky sayings is there’s no education in the second kick of a mule. The first kick of a mule was when we shut the government down in the mid 1990s and the second kick was over the last 16 days,” McConnell told The Hill. “There is no education in the second kick of a mule. There will not be a government shutdown.”
“I think we have fully now acquainted our new members with what a losing strategy that is,” he added.
Cruz added that he wouldn’t “nail down all sorts of future tactical decisions,” but he made it clear that Obamacare would be at the center of his strategy.
“What I intend to do is continue to stand with the American people working to stop Obamacare,” Cruz said. “Washington focuses on the politics all day long. That’s what this town does, but what we saw in the deal last night, is that the U.S. Senate is not concerned about all the people out of a job, all the people in part-time work, all the people whose health insurance premiums are skyrocketing, all the people who are losing their health insurance, and that’s happening because of Obamacare.”