Republican Civil War Over Obamacare Explodes on Twitter

Mounting tensions between House and Senate conservatives spill into the public.

Reps. Tim Griffin (left) and Sean Duffy are shown.
National Journal
Alex Seitz-Wald
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Alex Seitz-Wald
Sept. 18, 2013, 2:55 p.m.

Ten­sions between House and Sen­ate con­ser­vat­ives has been brew­ing for weeks over a scheme to try to force a gov­ern­ment shut­down un­less Obama­care gets de­fun­ded, but the fric­tion spilled in­to the pub­lic and onto so­cial me­dia Wed­nes­day night after Texas Re­pub­lic­an Sen. Ted Cruz ac­know­ledged that the plan is prob­ably doomed in the up­per cham­ber.

“Harry Re­id will no doubt try to strip the de­fund lan­guage from the con­tinu­ing res­ol­u­tion, and right now he likely has the votes to do so,” Cruz said, ac­cord­ing to Roll Call. “At that point, House Re­pub­lic­ans must stand firm, hold their ground.”

House Re­pub­lic­ans have quietly re­sen­ted how much pres­sure has been put on them to carry out a plan hatched in the Sen­ate, and the two cham­bers have been passing the hot potato for the past week about who would be the ones to ac­tu­ally vote down a gov­ern­ment fund­ing bill if it comes to that. Cruz’s com­ments were ap­par­ently the the last straw for some. A spokes­per­son for House Speak­er John Boehner im­me­di­ately put the pres­sure back on the Sen­ate — “We trust Re­pub­lic­ans in the Sen­ate will put up a fight worthy of the chal­lenge that Obama­care poses” — but oth­er Re­pub­lic­ans had stronger words.

so far Sen Rs are good at get­ting Face­book likes, and town­halls, not much else. Do something… RT … ht­tp://t.co/fVo2eu2c6a

— Tim Griffin (@Tim­GriffinAR2), Sept. 18

House agrees to send #CR to Sen­ate that de­funds Obama­care. @Sen­Ted­Cruz & @Sen­MikeLee re­fuse to fight. Wave white flag and sur­render.

— Sean Duffy (@RepSean­Duffy), Sept. 18

Duffy ad­ded more on Face­book, writ­ing, “It is time for Sens. Cruz & Lee to show they can hold the line against Sen­ate Demo­crats. Let’s hope they do not sur­render be­fore the fight even be­gins.”

UP­DATE (8:18 p.m.): House lead­er­ship is now also tak­ing Cruz to task, with an un­named aide to GOP lead­ers telling CNN’s Dana Bash, that “Wendy Dav­is has more balls than Ted Cruz,” re­fer­ring to the Texas state law­maker who fili­bustered an anti-abor­tion bill earli­er this year.

And there’s more:

Hse R on Sen­ate cons on say­ing Re­id has votes to block health care de­fund­ing: “Those “%&#<-ers ran ads in my dis­trict over the Aug re­cess.”

— Chad Per­gram (@Chad­Per­gram) Septem­ber 19, 2013

Hse GOP­er on Sen­ate con­ser­vat­ives on Obama­care: They re­mind me of the French. Waved white flag & dropped their rifles be­fore fir­ing a shot

— Chad Per­gram (@Chad­Per­gram) Septem­ber 18, 2013

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