“House Republicans showed tremendous courage and unity in voting to fund government, avoid a shut down, and protect the American people from the harmful effects of Obamacare,” said Sen. Lee. “Senate Republicans have the ability to show that same courage by staying unified and together opposing cloture on the final bill. We should continue to withhold support for ending debate until Senator Reid either brings up the House bill as is for an up-or-down vote, or allows an open amendment process that permits both Republicans and Democrats to offer amendments to the bill.”
Opposing cloture to end debate is one of the few tools the minority has in the Senate to prevent the majority from imposing its partisan will on the American people or using procedural tricks to limit the minority’s rights. Republicans have defended their rights against Sen. Harry Reid’s procedural tricks several times in the past. For example, in 2011, Republicans used 44 votes to block ending debate on the Small Business Innovation Research Act, and 51 votes to prevent ending debate on the Public Works and Economic Development Reauthorization Act (4 Democrats voted with a united Republican caucus). In 2012, Republicans gathered 42 votes to oppose ending debate on the Highway Bill.
Reid is again using procedural tricks – known as “filling the tree” – on the House CR to prevent Republican amendments and shove through a process that will gut the House-passed bill. Republicans voting “YES” on cloture will likely find themselves aligned with a united Democratic caucus on a procedural vote that would allow Sen. Reid to gut the House bill and fund Obamacare.
“Republicans should stand up for their rights as a minority and for the American people as a whole. We have the votes to win, if only Senate Republicans will stand together as the House did and as we have in the past,” Sen. Lee added.
The vote on cloture to end debate is expected on Friday, but could be held as early as Thursday evening.