- (Photo: REUTERS/U.S. Senate TV/Handout via Reuters)
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has brought up popular shows and movies such as "Duck Dynasty" and "Star Wars" as he continues his marathon speech Wednesday morning, advocating for the defunding of Obamacare in the U.S. Senate.
"Jeff said 'Faith, family and facial hair,'" Cruz quoted "Duck Dynasty," according to ABC News. "I point out to the junior senator from Utah, if we continue doing this long enough, we may have facial hair on the floor of the Senate."
The Texas senator's speech began at 2:41 p.m. on Tuesday when he said he is raising objection to Obamacare and called it a "liberal train wreck." Although he is required to stand throughout his speech, Senate rules allow him to yield to questions from other senators. A number of GOP senators have helped him out in this regard, including Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), but he has also received questions from Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Tim Kaine (D-Va.).
"I will say standing here after 14 hours, standing on your feet, there's sometimes some pain, sometimes some fatigue that is involved," Cruz said at one point on the Senate floor. "But you know what? There's far more pain involved in rolling over…far more pain in hiding in the shadows, far more pain in not standing for principle, not standing for the good, not standing for integrity."
The senator's effort is to back a House of Representatives-passed bill that seeks to defund Obamacare. Although technically not a filibuster, Cruz is hoping that he will be able to stop the Senate from introducing an amendment to the bill that will restore funding to the controversial health care law.
Cruz's marathon speech has already become the longest speech of 2013, beating out Sen. Paul's March filibuster against the nomination of John Brennan as CIA director, which went on for 12 hours and 52 minutes.
The GOP senator has promised that he will speak until he is "no longer able to stand," The Guardian added, and brought up several other pop-culture references during his speech, including "Star Wars" and Dr Seuss's Green Eggs and Ham.
Cruz spoke both of the support he has received on the issue, but also from the opposition coming from both sides:
"It is my hope, my fervent hope, that the voices of dissension within the Republican conference will stop firing at each other" the GOP senator said.
Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell and No. 2 Senate Republican John Cornyn of Texas have both criticized Cruz's tactics, however, as the marathon speech could push a vote on the bill into the weekend, which is days before the new fiscal year begins on Oct. 1. A possible consequence of that is that House Speaker John Boehner will have little time to come up with a temporary spending bill to avoid partial government shutdown.