AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz says a federal government shutdown may be necessary to halt the White House-backed health care law, saying it could be the best and "quite possibly last" opportunity to defund it.
On a conference call Wednesday, Cruz said he and other tea party senators plan to oppose legislation necessary to keep federal agencies running after Sept. 30 if it includes funding for the health care overhaul.
He acknowledged, though, that many of his Republican Senate and House colleagues won't support the effort unless "the grassroots rise up in overwhelming numbers and demand it."
Cruz added: "No politician in Washington can win this fight," saying "only the American people" could.
The tea party firebrand has often irked members of both parties since taking office seven months ago.