WASHINGTON — Tea Party conservative Sen. Ted Cruz ended his all-night talkathon to dismantle President Barack Obama's health-care law after 21 hours and 19 minutes as the Senate pushed ahead to a test vote Wednesday on a bill to avert a government shutdown.
Weary after a day and night on his feet, Cruz simply sat down at 11 a.m., the predetermined time for the Senate to adjourn, as several of his colleagues applauded. Senate Republicans and some House members congratulated the Texas freshman.
As Cruz' allotted speaking time was nearing its end, he offered to skip the initial vote and shorten debate on the underlying stopgap spending bill that's required to avert a government shutdown after midnight on Monday.
The Senate's top Democrat, Majority Leader Harry Reid, said the vote would go ahead as planned. Reid shrugged off Cruz's effort.