Cruz has vowed to do everything possible to prevent Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) from stripping out a provision defunding the healthcare law, a strategy that could push back a final Senate vote until Sept. 28.The schedule is actually even more dire, potentially, for Boehner because Cruz could conceivably drag this into Sunday, giving Boehner only a day to realize he's going to have to buck the Republican crazies and get Democrats to vote with him on a clean Senate bill, or go for broke and shut the government down.
The House would then have less than 48 hours to decide whether to accept a “clean” continuing resolution or amend it and return it to the Senate—a move that would almost certainly result in a shutdown. Among the ideas that GOP lawmakers are batting around for a second round of legislative pingpong are attaching a repeal of the healthcare law’s medical device tax or a repeal of subsidies for lawmakers and congressional staffers.
Republican lawmakers and aides note that, procedurally, the House could move rapidly to act either way on a Senate-passed bill. But Boehner has struggled to win consensus from his conference on almost any issue, and he could be hard-pressed to find a way to win 217 votes for any change to the Senate measure.
But Cruz isn't the only villain in the scenario. His buddies at Heritage Action are agitating for a shutdown, saying that if the House is jammed (has only one day to turn around the bill) they should go for the shutdown. “Assuming [Reid] does [jam the House], there’s no reason the House should simply accept what Harry Reid sends over.” In other words, shut 'er down! That's the message that will keep the checks rolling in from the rubes who have been convinced by Heritage and by Ted Cruz that they could actually kill Obamacare, even when American voters—and the Supreme Court—ruled otherwise.