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‘This is Harry Reid’s shutdown,’ says Cruz

Sen. Ted Cruz fused Obamacare to this year's budget debate. Now he says it's not his fault the fight brought on a shutdown.
/ Source: Morning Joe

Sen. Ted Cruz fused Obamacare to this year's budget debate. Now he says it's not his fault the fight brought on a shutdown.

Sen. Ted Cruz fused Obamacare to this year’s budget debate. Now he says it’s not his fault the fight brought on a shutdown.

“The reason we have a government shutdown is because they’re refusing to compromise, they’re refusing to negotiate,” the Texas Republican told NBC’s Kasie Hunt on Friday afternoon.

Sen. Ted Cruz tied the budget and Obamacare together this summer, promising grassroots supporters that if Republicans were just bold enough, they could defund the historic healthcare law.

House Republicans fell into line, though a veto threat ensured that no bill defunding Obamacare would ever pass, and the legislative stalemate that ensued shut the government down.

“Four times the House of Representatives has passed a reasonable compromise, a middle ground, and four times, Harry Reid and President Obama have said, go pound sand, jump in a lake, we’re not going to compromise.”

The compromise he speaks of? Four bills delaying parts or all of the healthcare law in exchange for funding the government.

“And listen, there’s a reason why they killed it. The Democrats want government by crisis, they want shutdowns,” he said. “This is Harry Reid’s shutdown, because he thinks it benefits Democrats politically and they want to default to scare people.”

Cruz refused to answer whether the 800,000 furloughed government workers should be paid for the unexpected, unpaid time off.

“I’m not answering your question because—look, I know you want to ask that hypothetical and you’re entitled to ask it,” he said.“Well, it’s going to come up today, that’s why I’m asking,” the reporter said, reminding Cruz that the House of Representatives were taking up a bill to ensure the backpay of federal workers.“What I am saying, is I support efforts to resolve this — to fund the government and then prevent the enormous harms that Obamacare has inflicted on millions of Americans,” he finished.