Last night at the close of business, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) had this to say: “The place I am in now is that we are on automatic pilot. I filed the cloture motion. Cloture will occur Wednesday. The latest will be at noon. With some agreement we can move it up an hour or two. People can talk all they want. There is no way we can be prevented from having that vote. So we will have conversation, but there will not be any filibusters, because under the rules the time is for talking. But it does not delay anything.”
In short, a filibuster is the tactic to delay vote on the cloture. In this case, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) received time and if he doesn’t run out of steam will still have no ability to stop tomorrow’s vote. It is purely for show, precisely what Cruz accuses his GOP colleagues of doing on the actual vote on the House CR. As one amused House aide put it, “So Ted Cruz is fake filibustering? It’s a symbolic gimmick? Hmm, I seem to remember a certain senator claiming any plan other than his in the House was a symbolic gimmick.”
So far it’s not clear that Cruz has more than a handful of supporters, maybe not even that many.