Update, 12:03 p.m: Sen. Ted Cruz has ended a marathon Senate speech opposing President Barack Obama's health care law after talking for 21 hours, 19 minutes.
The Texas Republican and tea party conservative stopped speaking at 11 a.m. Dallas time Wednesday, sitting down to yield the floor, The Associated Press is reporting. The Texas freshman began talking Tuesday afternoon, seeking to urge defunding of the 3-year-old health system overhaul. Fellow conservatives helped by making occasional remarks.
But Cruz had virtually no chance of prevailing.
The Senate debated the House bill defunding the health care law while preventing a government shutdown on Tuesday. Cruz wanted to derail it because Senate Democrats have the votes to remove the health care provision before sending the bill back to the House.
Many Republicans opposed Cruz's effort, fearing their party might be blamed if the government closes.
Original posting, Tuesday: Ted Cruz, the Texas Republican, took the floor of the U.S. Senate to speak against Obamacare on Tuesday afternoon -- as he put it, "until I am no longer able to stand."
No word on whether he was wearing pink sneakers. (Update, 5 p.m. Tuesday: The Dallas Morning News' intrepid Todd J. Gillman reports: "On the Senate floor — not that you can see it on C-SPAN— he’s wearing black casual or walking shoes with reflectors on the heels.")
(Update, 11:15 p.m. Tuesday: Cruz read “Green Eggs and Ham,” the Dr. Seuss classic, to his two young daughters, who were watching him on C-SPAN2. He also read them some Bible verses. Throughout the evening, he mentioned Ashton Kutcher and White Castle. “Most Americans could not give a flying flip about a bunch of politicians in Washington,” Cruz declared. “Who cares? You know most all of us are in cheap suits and bad haircuts.”)
Cruz's Kentucky compadre, Rand Paul, and others are stepping in occasionally with questions.
Frank James of NPR's It's All Politics blog writes today about how Cruz's Republican allies may be turning on him. And another NPR blogger, S.V. Date, investigates the possibility that Ted Cruz's dad, Rafael, might run for Texas' other Senate seat.