Updated 12:55 a.m. ET Sept. 25, 2013
Congress continued its steady march toward a possible government shutdown Tuesday with another round of posturing, but little action to keep the government running past next Monday.
Both the Democratic and Republican leaders in the Senate seemed poised to speed up a vote on a spending bill from House Republicans that would have funded the government through Dec. 15 but stripped out funding for the Affordable Care Act. Many Senate Republicans were prepared to vote for the measure, which they favored, and Democrats were ready to get their hands on the bill so they could amend it and restore funding for the law.
But that possibility ground to a halt as Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, took to the Senate floor to deliver an hours-long speech (that technically is not a filibuster, because of the Senate's procedural rules). He began talking at 2:41 p.m. ET, announcing that he intended "to speak against Obamacare until I am no longer able to stand."
His marathon entered its 11th hour at 12:41 a.m. ET on Wednesday. He did, however, get periodic breaks when other senators took the floor.
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During his speech, several of Cruz's fellow GOP Senate colleagues joined him on the floor, including Sens. Rand Paul and Marco Rubio, The Associated Press reported.
Though he can't prevent the Senate from voting to end debate on the House proposal tomorrow, Cruz can speak throughout the night to draw attention to the issue and stop the vote from happening early.