The man behind the effort to eliminate funding to the Affordable Care Act took to the Senate floor Tuesday in a last ditch effort to revive his failing fight in the Senate. It came as top economists warned that political squabbling could damage the economy. Our Washington, D.C. bureau reporter Michael Scotto has the story.
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- His effort to block the Affordable Care Act in the Senate appears to be a lost cause. But Senator Ted Cruz took to the Senate floor Tuesday afternoon promising to do everything he can to destroy the President's health care law.
"I intend to speak in support of defunding Obamacare until I am no longer able to stand," Cruz said.
Cruz's time is running out. The Senate is on track to vote in the next few days to strip language from the House's stopgap spending plan that would defund the Affordable Care Act. The wild card is whether the House goes along with the move or decides to shut down the government. Top economists told a Senate panel Tuesday that a short term shutdown wouldn't devastate the economy. The bigger problem, they warned, would be if lawmakers failed to reach an agreement to raise the debt limit in mid-October.
"Breaching the debt limit would be cataclysmic. Financial markets would be sent into turmoil. It's opening an economic Pandora's box," said Mark Zandi, Moody's Analytics.
The fight over the debt ceiling promises to be just as intense as the fight over government funding and again focused on health care. House Republicans say they will raise the debt limit only if Obamacare is delayed for a year.
Democrats have vowed to block that effort, too. And they say the political squabbling is causing uncertainty that is bad for the economy. But Republicans say the President's policies are causing harm, too.
"Isn't true that the uncertainty over the Obamacare health care thing is impacting employment and businesses in a rather significant way in America," said Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions.
All of this means that these fights are going to come down the wire with no clear sign of how they'll end.