The House passed its latest budget bill in the early hours Sunday morning, including provisions to delay the healthcare law. The Senate was expected to reject the legislation Monday, leaving Boehner few alternatives before a possible government shutdown.
With Congress out of session Sunday, each party sought to blame the other for whatever disruptions take place if federal offices and services shut down. House Republican leaders held an afternoon news conference on the Senate steps urging the Senate to swiftly accept the House bill.
"We had division among Senate Republicans," Cruz said Sunday on "Meet the Press."
"I had hoped Senate Republicans would be united. That didn't happen. But I'll tell you this: I'm optimistic this next time around, this is an opportunity for Senate Republicans to come home."
For candidates and groups on both sides, the budget fight comes at an opportune time — just before the Sept. 30 deadline for many of them to report how much they have raised.
In Georgia, Michelle Nunn, daughter of legendary former Democratic Sen. Sam Nunn, is running for a U.S. Senate seat in a state where her party hopes to pick up a Republican seat. She contrasted today's Washington dysfunction with an earlier era, when collaboration and problem-solving were considered virtues.
"Name-calling. Brinksmanship. Political posturing," she wrote in a fundraising appeal. "With just days left to avert a government shutdown, Washington is yet again in paralysis." The solution? Send a donation, her missive said.
And Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), a favorite of many tea party followers, told his donors the Senate needed more like-minded members. Rubio had just the candidate in mind: conservative Republican Rep. Tom Cotton of Arkansas, who hopes to topple Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor.
"Your donation of $5, $10 or $20 will make a real difference," Rubio's note said.
Michael A. Memoli in the Washington bureau contributed to this report.