WASHINGTON -- Washington faces a potential shutdown if Congress cannot agree on a budget soon.
On top of the budget showdown: the government reaches its borrowing limit next month, looming financial battles, and the future of Obamacare.
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, took to the Senate floor at 2:41 p.m. on Tuesday with these opening lines: "Madame president, I rise today in opposition to Obamacare."
"Most Americans could not give a flying flip about politicians in Washington," he said.
Cruz's marathon speech lasted for 21 hours, 19 seconds, with no food or bathroom breaks. He wrapped it up just in time for the Senate to vote unanimously to end debate on the House spending bill.
This clears the way for congressmen to amend the bill and attempt to keep the government open past Monday.
If no measure passes, Washington faces a potential shutdown. On top of the budget showdown, the government reaches its borrowing limit next month.
Do we really know if individual costs will go up or down or do we all have to wait until Oct. 1? David Christensen, with the Family Research Council, answers this and more on CBN Newswatch, Sept. 25.
The Republican from Texas stood and talked, tying to convince his fellow Senate colleagues to block any funding for Obamacare.
"All across this country, Americans are suffering because of Obamacare," he said.
Occassionally his marathon speech veered from subject taking on lighter moments.
"Redneck rule No.1: Most things can be fixed with duct tape and extension cords," he joked.
At one point last night, Cruz even paused to read a bedtime story to his daughters who were watching him on television back home in Texas.
"Do you like green eggs and ham. I do not like them Sam I am, I do not like green eggs and ham," he recited.
Last week the House passed a bill that would keep the government running temporarily. But attached was an amendment that completely defunds Obamacare.
Cruz wanted his Senate colleagues to pass the bill. But his talk-a-thon isn't likely to stop Senate lawmakers from sending a spending bill back to the House with Obamacare funding back in. Then it'll be up to the House to vote on it.
Bottom line: If Congress does not pass a funding bill before the end of the month, the government could face a shutdown next week -- something a majority of Americans strongly oppose.
According to budget officials even if there's a government shutdown, much of Obamacare will still go into effect. Core parts of the health care law are funded through money that's already been set aside.
Health insurance exchanges kick in Tuesday, and the Obama administration just released a report that says prices will drop.
"When people look and see that they can get high-quality, affordable health care for less than their cell phone bill, they're going to sign up," Obama said.
But researchers at the Manhattan Institute explained to Forbes that the report is misleading. They found that the Department of Health and Human Services only compared rates to their own original predictions for 2016.
When looking at the jump that's expected next year, rates under the cheapest plan will go up by 97-99 percent for men, and 55-62 percent for women, depending on their age.
Residents in some states will see their rates triple or quadruple. Those rising cost estimates are also supported by a new Medicare and Medicaid report.
The report found that the Affordable Care Act will raise health spending in the United States by $621 billion over the next decade. That money will have to come from the pockets of Americans.
During his speech, Sen. Cruz also mentioned what he called the Obama administration's "hostility to religious faith."
He described the fines Christian business owners will face for refusing to go along with provisions of the law like the contraceptive coverage mandate.