Major newspapers across the country downplayed Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-TX) long speech against the Affordable Care Act on Wednesday, a survey of front pages finds, and just half of newspapers in Texas led with the junior senator’s effort.
Cruz took to the floor on Tuesday afternoon, hours before the Senate will begin debating a House-passed short-term continuing resolution to keep the government open for several more months, and spoke into the early hours of Wednesday morning. Though Cruz’s speech speech may rival “some of the longest Senate filibusters on record,” the body is scheduled to hold a procedural vote on the measure around 2 P.M., when Cruz will be required to stop talking.
Despite his best efforts, most Senate Republicans say they see “no reason to oppose debating a measure they actually backed” and don’t expect a pathway for Cruz to cut-off funding for the law in the context of a Democratically-controlled Senate and presidency. The nation’s top newspapers also treated Cruz skeptically, giving the Tea Party favorite little front pages real estate.
The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, USA Today, LA Times, and Chicago Tribune eschewed stories about Cruz’s speech on their front pages in favor of the mall siege in Kenya and President Obama’s address before the United Nation’s General Assembly. The Washington Post’s front page included 14 words on the speech.Three of the papers ran front-page stories about a new report showing lower than expected premiums in the law’s new health care exchanges in place of Cruz’s talk.
Of the 23 Texas newspapers available on the Newseum website, more than half — 12 — didn’t cover Cruz on their front pages, while 11 did. At least two prominently featured the administration’s premium analysis, which concluded that on average, Texas families will pay less than the mid-range benchmark plan.
The Senate is expected to add the stripped Obamacare funding back into the continuing resolution and send the document back to the House, where Republicans may attempt to delay individual provisions of the law.