Senator Ted Cruz - political hero or villain?
Cruz has been the driving force behind the Republican push to tie government funding to derailing Obamacare. But he says the Democrats are to blame for shutting down the government.
"The reason we have a shutdown right now is because Harry Reid and President Obama want a shutdown and they have refused to compromise at all, and unfortunately, Harry Reid and President Obama believe this shutdown benefits them as a partisan political matter, and that's why you're seeing these sorts of cynical decisions," Cruz said.
As the shutdown goes on, Cruz's Republican colleagues are getting fed up.
Even Minority Leader Mitch McConnell joined in the Cruz bashing during a private caucus lunch.
But in his home-state of Texas - Republicans are still standing by the freshman Senator.
CNN's Ed Lavandera is OutFront with the story.