HOUSTON – Senator Ted Cruz says he feels energized after ending a marathon session of standing and speaking on the floor of the U.S. Senate to draw attention to his fight to de-fund the Affordable Care Act.
The Texas Republican began speaking Tuesday afternoon and ended his verbal assault on the health care law nearly 22 hours later.
Reaction to his message and method were mixed across the country and here in Houston, the senator's home town.
"It's not a real filibuster. He's not Mr. Smith or Senator Davis," said Virginia Parks, referring to Ft. Worth Senator Wendy Davis, who staged a filibuster in the Texas Capitol earlier this year to stop an abortion bill.
Parks said she is looking forward to October 1st, the first open enrollment date for the ACA.
"As a middle-aged cancer survivor I want and need health care," said Parks.
However, Barbara Witt has a different opinion.
"I just admire Ted Cruz. I think it's great he wanted to stand up and fight for our rights," said Witt.
Witt says the new health care law will drive up the cost of coverage for her family of five and they are bracing for the financial hit.
"We're paying $284 a week for a family of five and a 34 percent increase, that's really going to hurt us," said Witt.
While Senator Cruz remains a political lightning rod, Rice University political science professor Mark Jones says his moment in the spotlight makes him a hero of the far-right.
"Therefore, as he attempts to go forward and compete in the 2016 republican presidential primary it bolsters his status as the truest of the movement conservatives and the truest of the tea party candidates," said Professor Jones.