“The pleas from the American people, I can tell you in Texas, are deafening,” he said as he wrapped up the debate. “The frustration that the United States Senate doesn’t listen to the people is deafening.”
He’d begun talking at 2:41 p.m. Tuesday.
Cruz, an attorney who usually wears cowboy boots, said he’d “embarrassingly” decided not to wear his “argument boots,” which he’d worn to his swearing-in last January. He wore black tennis shoes instead.
Cruz’s time ended at noon Wednesday. The gavel sounded, and he sat down in his chair near the left corner of the chamber. As he sat, he got a round of applause and a standing ovation from the handful of Republican senators and staffers in the chamber.
When he emerged in the hallway to a phalanx of cameras and reporters, Cruz was asked what he’d accomplished.
“I hope that this filibuster has helped frame this debate for the American people,” he said.
Later, Cruz told McClatchy he felt terrific and had eaten “a peanut or two” during the marathon.
The spotlight might shift to the House for a while, as House Republican leaders are considering voting soon on increasing the nation’s debt limit, a separate budget showdown. Republicans might attach a provision to that bill delaying the implementation of the health care law.
Adding to the controversy, a new report released Wednesday found that the Internal Revenue Service had failed to properly account for all expenses tied to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration’s report said that from fiscal 2010 through 2012, the IRS reported costs of $488 million associated with implementation. But the report said the IRS had failed to “track all costs associated with implementation of the ACA,” specifically about $67 million in indirect costs that the agency didn’t account for or attempt to quantify.
Kevin G. Hall contributed to this article.